Nova Scotia opens stretch of newly twinned Highway 104 as project nears completion

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CaDCR staff writer

After more than three years, millions of cubic metres of earth moved and thousands of tonnes of asphalt put down, the Highway 104 twinning project is nearly complete, providing safer driving for people travelling in Pictou and Antigonish counties.

In the coming days, the final 12.5 kilometres between French River and Barneys River will open to traffic, linking four lanes of divided highway from Antigonish to the New Brunswick border.

The contractor Is Dexter Nova Alliance, a consortium including Dexter Construction Company Limited, Nova Construction, BBGI Global Infrastructure and Municipal Enterprises Ltd.

“We are proud to work on a project of this magnitude that has provided employment to so many here in Nova Scotia,” said Ken MacLean, chair, Dexter Nova Alliance GP. “This highway was built for Nova Scotians by Nova Scotians. Today’s milestone was achieved thanks to our local workforce and many companies and suppliers. Together, they worked tirelessly for three years to bring this project to completion on time and on budget.”

Construction started in May 2020 and created about two million person-hours of work – equivalent to hiring about 300 people full time for 40 months. Workers have moved more than 5.6 million cubic metres of earth and put down more than 320,000 tonnes of asphalt.

It will still be several weeks until the project reaches final completion, and drivers should expect occasional minor delays between French River and Barneys River as lanes may need to be closed for short periods of time.

“If you’ve driven this highway before, and you drive it next week, you’ll immediately understand how this project is going to improve people’s lives. Everyone using the highway will be safer,” said Nova Scotia Premier Tim Houston.

The construction cost of the project is $364.3 million, including $274.3 million from the province and up to $90 million from the Government of Canada’s National Trade Corridors Fund.

The project covers about 38 kilometres of highway and includes the construction of two new interchanges, 24 new bridges and environmental enhancements such as wildlife corridors and fencing.

Dexter Nova Alliance will be responsible for the operation and maintenance of the newly twinned highway, plus another 25 kilometres of previously existing highway.

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