© Riley/ FILE
Digby district councilor Maritza Adams has been pushing for years to see a 100-series highway to go with the signs along Hwy 1.
By Jonathan Riley DIGBY COURIER NovaNewsNow.com
Digby’s MLA says the new Liberal government has made a firm commitment “to start work on the ground” for the completion of Hwy 101 while continuing talks with the federal government about funding.
“I’ve heard that commitment from the Minister of Transportation and from the Premier in his throne speech,” said Gordon Wilson, MLA for Clare Digby on Friday, Dec. 13.
In the throne speech on Nov. 28, the Liberals said that transportation is a critical part of strengthening communities from one end of Nova Scotia to the other.
“My government is committed to continuing discussions with the federal government to extend twinning on Highway 103 and to complete Highway 101,” was the wording in the speech.
“That was huge,” said Wilson. “To have it mentioned in the throne speech. That shows it is quite high on our list of priorities. The speech is a roadmap for what we see as important initiatives to accomplish during our mandate.”
Local politicians and MLA’s have pushed for the completion of the 101 from Digby to Weymouth for decades now.
After Exit 26 at Digby the road is no longer controlled access and runs through the middle of several communities and right by the Barton School.
Locals have complained the road is too small for how busy it is and dangerous.
Last year the Municipality of the District of Digby joined with the Municipality of the District of Clare to form the Hwy 101 taskforce to lobby together for the completion of the highway – most likely with a realignment south of the highway’s current position.
Wilson says the municipal politicians have done a great job raising awareness during the last municipal election.
He says during the recent provincial election it was the number one concern he was hearing from people all through that stretch of the riding and into Clare, where the 101 is there connection to the rest of the province.
Wilson said he has had several recent meetings about the issue and all indications are positive.
He has spoken with the Deputy Minister of Transportation, the Minister of Transportation Geoff MacLellan and even a senior planner with the department.
“Everything hinges on federal funding and that’s for sure,” says Wilson. “But they have made a firm commitment to start work on the ground for the section between Digby and the Middle Cross Road in Marshalltown.”
Wilson, headed home for the Christmas holidays, wants to take the opportunity to sit down with Greg Kerr, the federal MP for West Nova.
Wilson has also asked for a formal briefing early in the new year to find out exactly where the project sits but he expects planning and more detailed survey work could begin very soon.
“That may be premature of me – that’s why I want to have the briefing and then lay everything out for everyone in a clear chronological order, where we’re at and I’ll continue doing that through the process.”