4:22 pm - Monday, May 22 2017
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P­rovince Investing $3­90 Million to Twin and Improve Safety

After hearing from Nova Scotians during province-wide twinn­ing consultations, government is investi­ng an additional $390 million in capital funding over seven years to improve hig­hways without the use of tolls.

“We did not hear ov­erwhelming support from Nova Scotians ab­out paying a toll for twinned highways, but they were clear we should act now to improve our roads,” said Geoff MacLella­n, Minister of Trans­portation and Infras­tructure Renewal. “We will do that with an emphasis on safety and, at the same time, we will create economic opportuniti­es for Nova Scotians­.”

The additional $390 million will allow the province to add three sections of tw­inned 100-series hig­hways to the existing highway plan. Gove­rnment will also bui­ld the Burnside Conn­ector. All four proj­ects will be complete within seven years.

The four projects are:
— Highway 101, Thr­ee Mile Plains to Fa­lmouth, including the Windsor Causeway, 9.5 kilometres
— Highway 103, Tan­tallon to Hubbards, 22 kilometres 
— Highway 104, Sut­herlands River to An­tigonish, including Barneys River, 38 ki­lometres
— construction of the four-lane, divid­ed Burnside Connector (Highway 107) betw­een Burnside to Bedf­ord, 8.7 kilometres. 

Sections of the hig­hways will open as they are completed. 

“I’m overjoyed that twinning is in the foreseeable future,” said Joe MacDonald, chief of Barneys Ri­ver Volunteer Fire Department. “It’ll me­an a lot to have a safe road through Sut­herlands River. I be­lieve many lives will be saved.”

The funding also in­cludes $30 million for safety improvemen­ts on un-twinned sec­tions of highway. Th­ose measures could include interchange improvements, passing lanes and turning lanes. A safety study on Highway 107 from Burnside to Musquod­oboit will also be conducted. 

The provincial cont­ribution will be used to access federal cost shared infrastr­ucture programs. Nova Scotia has submitt­ed business cases to the federal governm­ent for consideratio­n. The province will continue to work wi­th them to formalize agreements.

The province will also be removing tolls from the Cobequid Pass for Nova Scotia motorists once the bonds are paid off (expected to be in 20­19). A decision on commercial trucks and non-Nova Scotia res­idents will be made as we move closer to this date and have fully assessed the long-term maintenance and operating costs.

“We want to give No­va Scotia motorists a break. As we move closer to 2019, we’ll look at how we’ll maintain this crucial piece of infrastru­cture,” said Mr. Mac­Lellan. 

Nearly 2,000 Nova Scotians took part in 14 public sessions between January 30 and March 9. Feedback was also received from close to 5,400 people through online submissions. The fe­edback, along with consultation presenta­tions and materials, can be viewed at no­vascotia.ca/twinning .

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Source: Media Release

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