N.S. to spend $285 million to improve roads and bridges in 2018-19
THE CANADIAN PRESS
Published Tuesday, December 19, 2017 3:14PM AST
Last Updated Tuesday, December 19, 2017 7:59PM AST
HALIFAX -- Spending for Nova Scotia's roads, highways and bridges has been set at $285 million for 2018-19 -- a $60 million increase over last year.
Transportation Minister Lloyd Hines said Tuesday that major construction projects account for $50 million of the capital spending increase, with much of the extra funding going to twinning projects on portions of Highways 101, 103 and 104 that were announced last spring.
"Transportation is critical to ensure safe and connected communities," said Hines. "That's why we are making the third largest investment in transportation in transportation infrastructure in our province's history."
The Liberal government announced in April that it planned to spend $390 million over seven years to improve highways, including twinning projects that are slated to begin in 2018.
"There are various preliminary things that need to be done for each of those (twinning) pieces," Hines said.
He said the work included such things as clearing along Highway 103 and a geotechnical investigation and surveying on Highway 104.
Overall, Hines said $115 million would be spent on major construction for highways and bridges, $101.5 million for asphalt work and resurfacing, and $29.1 million for bridge replacement and rehabilitation.
An extra $10 million has also been added to a $10 million fund previously announced to improve and rebuild portions of the province's gravel roads.
Peter Hackett, the Transportation Department's chief engineer, said the extra funding would allow the rebuilding of sections of gravel roads that become impassable with wet weather in the spring and fall.
"This allows us to free up some of the maintenance money to put towards other things," he said.
There are 23,000 kilometres of roads and highways in Nova Scotia.
The 2018-19 improvement plan is subject to approval in the 2018-19 budget.