The Nova Scotia government last week announced $450 million for roadwork and this year and an additional $583 million for six new major construction projects scheduled between 2025 and 2030. Public Works Minister Kim Masland released details in the province’s latest five-year highway improvement plan.
“Inflation, I mean, obviously is something that is worrisome,” Masland told reporters. “We work very closely with the road-building industry on how we can look at mitigating costs.
“By putting out a plan in advance, it gives the road builders an opportunity to try to recruit, to try to make sure that they have the resources and to plan appropriately to make sure we’re delivering the projects.”
The 2023-2024 Five Year Highway Improvement Plan maps out repair and maintenance projects on the province’s 23,000 kilometres of roads and highways and 4,100 bridges.
Masland says the plan “gives private companies better opportunity to prepare for the more than 150 upcoming highway improvement projects in 2023–2024. It also helps to inform Nova Scotians about the improvements being made in their communities.
The province is committing more than $583 million towards six new major construction projects over seven years, including:
- Highway 103 Argyle Interchange (Exit 32 and 32A)
- Highway 103 Exit 6 to Exit 7 – Twinning
- Highway 103 Exit 7 to Exit 8 – Twinning
- Highway 104 Taylors Road to Paqtnkek – Twinning
- Highway 107 Burnside to west of Loon Lake -Twinning
- Tancook Ferry Infrastructure Development
Work involves improving intersections, adding passing lanes, and turning lanes as well as roundabouts.
Twinning highways projects will continue at four locations around the province:
- Highway 104: Sutherlands River to Antigonish (38 kilometres)
- Highway 101: Three Mile Plains to Falmouth, including the Windsor Causeway (9.5 kilometres)
- Highway 103: Tantallon to Hubbards (22 kilometres)
- Highway 107: Four lane Sackville-Bedford-Burnside Connector (9 kilometres)
The province has also doubled funding for gravel roads from $20 million to $40 million to improve existing gravel roads in rural communities to “enable the proactive rebuilding to improve the structure and drainage, resulting in longer-lasting roads, improved safety, and reduced maintenance costs.
Nova Scotia has more than 8,400 kilometres of gravel roads – 35 per cent of the provincial road network.
“We need to make sure that we have safe highways for people to travel on, and I do believe that twinning does save lives,” Masland said. “I come from the South Shore. I see the tremendous amount of travel that people are doing across the 103. It has increased dramatically,” she said. “The number of people that have that are moving into rural areas and still commuting to the city is tremendous.”