Province announces $30 million for road improvement

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Funding for capital improvements to Nova Scotia's 100 series highways, secondary roads and bridges during this construction season will increase by more than 60 per cent over last year.

Premier Rodney MacDonald and Transportation and Infrastructure Renewal Minister Brooke Taylor presented details on projects ready for tender during an announcement today, March 13, of close to $30 million in highway improvement projects, bringing the total value of projects announced to date to almost $100 million. "Improvements to Nova Scotia's highway system support two key components of a strong and healthy Nova Scotia economy," said Premier MacDonald. "This highway work will add and maintain jobs, while supporting safe and efficient movement of goods and people in communities across the province."

Today's announcement includes 22 projects that will improve about 80 kilometres of roads, including grading for twinning work on Highway 104 near New Glasgow, repaving in Sheet Harbour, Alma and Granton. Projects were also announced for Cape Breton, the Valley and Colchester County. Highway projects make up about $1 billion of the $1.9-billion, three-year stimulus package announced March 11. The highway capital budget in year 1 will be about $345 million. "We are embarking on one of the most ambitious road improvement plans in our province's history," said Mr. Taylor. "This stimulus plan is allowing us to deliver much needed projects in every county across Nova Scotia, and we're

working hard to get tenders released so we can begin work as soon as the construction season starts."

The announcement builds on about $65 million worth of projects already announced, bringing the total to almost $100 million. The number of tenders announced so far this year is 50 per cent higher than the amount announced at this time last year, with more to follow throughout the construction

season. Several projects are expected to receive federal funding, and discussions to maximize federal contributions continue.

This construction season, the province will exceed its four-year target to pave 2,000 kilometres by an estimated 75 kilometres. The three-year road stimulus package is expected to create or maintain 11,000 jobs. "The Nova Scotia Road Builders Association are very pleased with the stimulus announcement by Premier MacDonald," said Grant Feltmate, executive director of the association. "It is a large increase in spending over the next three years that will lead to significant shorter-term job creation and capital investment within our industry. "The long-term result of this investment will be tangible assets that benefit Nova Scotians for many years to come."

A list of announced projects is available at www.gov.ns.ca/tran . The Building for Growth Plan can be viewed at Buildingfornovascotia.ca .

Organizations: The Building

Geographic location: Nova Scotia Road, New Glasgow, Sheet Harbour Cape Breton Colchester County

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