The atlantic road report bits and pieces of highway-related news collected from around the atlantic region.
Provincial Government Launches New 511 App, Website and Phone Service
The Department of Transportation and Works has launched a new service to provide up-to-date information to help residents and tourists make more informed decisions before they travel.
NL 511 is a new smartphone app, website and phone number with information on winter driving conditions, construction updates, highway cameras, major incidents, current ferry status updates, and weather.
Users will be able to access these services by:
Using the smartphone app; Visiting the new website at nl511.ca; and Dialing 5-1-1 to get key non-visual information over the phone. The app, which is free of charge and is available on smartphone app stores, can be customized by users to display specific features and to receive notifications for updates on highways they use frequently, such as highway closures and when travel is not recommended.
Other features include a list of recently viewed highway cameras and the map of the province displaying highways in different colours based on driving conditions. For example, during winter storms, portions of the highway may be seen as blinking to indicate reduced visibility.
In addition to the smartphone app, website and 511 phone system, urgent travel updates will continue to be provided via the department’s Twitter account, @ TW_GovNL.
In April 2019, the department awarded a contract valued at $685,000 over five years to Telenium Inc. to provide the service.
The NL 511 app is another example of the Provincial Government’s commitment to expanding digital service delivautoatlantic.com n november 2019 17 ery. Government is also advancing a Digital Way Forward Plan that will improve interactions with residents and businesses by making it easier to access important services. At the end of this five-year plan, a significant number of programs and services will be available online through MyGovNL as part of the new approach of “One Client. One GovNL. One Relationship.” “This new service will provide people with important highway safety information, such as where to expect highway construction in summer and where heavy snowfalls and strong winds may be creating dangerous driving conditions in winter.
It will also provide easy access to highway camera images, weather updates, ferry information and upcoming highway construction. While this information will be readily accessible on smartphones, we encourage everyone who uses the app to use it wisely and drive responsibility,” said Steve Crocker, Minister of Transportation and Works.
New Highway Interchange for Bridgewater
Government is supporting economic growth and improved road safety with a $20.4 million investment in new highway infrastructure in Bridgewater.
The project, which includes a new interchange between Exits 12 and 13, will have a positive impact on the growth of the Bridgewater Business Park and road safety in the community.
It includes a new diamond interchange including ramps, roundabouts, bridge and connector roads. The road through the business park will also be realigned and upgrades will be made to five existing intersections.
“Strategic investments in transportation infrastructure are vital to our economy as businesses need to move goods quickly and efficiently,” said Premier Stephen McNeil. “The new interchange will provide a dedicated connection to the Bridgewater Business Park, making this important business centre more accessible and attractive for investment and future growth.”
New school buses expected to reduce expenditures and emissions
Sixteen propane-powered school buses have been purchased to serve students in the Greater Moncton area as part of a pilot project to reduce emissions and costs.
“In the classroom, students are learning about how important it is to protect our environment,” said Education and Early Childhood Development Minister Dominic Cardy. “With this pilot project, we are demonstrating to New Brunswickers how we can use innovative tools to help reduce greenhouse gases while producing savings.”
In addition to a decrease in overall emissions, an annual reduction of two tonnes of carbon dioxide per bus is anticipated, compared to the emissions produced by a similar diesel bus. The range of the buses is greater than that of electric buses, making them viable long-term options for longer or rural routes.
The propane buses will be in use this fall. Although the initial cost of a propane bus is more than that of a diesel bus, the annual operational costs per bus are expected to be $2,500 lower, resulting in $30,000 in expenditure reductions over the 12-year lifespan of each vehicle. The propane buses can be identified by a decal on the side.
“The Department of Transportation and Infrastructure continues to seek ways to be more efficient and reduce our carbon footprint. This includes the management of the government’s vehicle fleet,” said Transportation and Infrastructure Minister Bill Oliver. “We are pleased to be moving forward with this pilot project which promotes the use of a cleaner fuel.”
The department estimates that the total cost of fuel for the year will be roughly 10 per cent lower for propane buses compared to diesel buses. There is also the potential to reduce motor oil usage and associated costs by up to 50 per cent.
Another 74 gasoline-powered buses have been purchased as part of the pilot project and will be used across the province. This $7.4-million purchase is expected to offset the slightly higher initial purchase price of the propane buses while still providing annual maintenance savings of $500 per bus and emitting less greenhouse gases than traditional diesel buses.
The propane and gasoline models meet all safety standards. The buses were purchased as part of the annual bus fleet life cycle management process.
The pilot project aligns with and supports New Brunswick’s Climate Change Action Plan. The plan identifies 118 action items to help the province reduce emissions and improve its resilience to the changing climate. It puts greater emphasis on renewable energy, following a co-ordinated approach to energy efficiency in homes, schools and businesses.
Prince Edward Island
Improvements to PEI’s highway system will benefit residents and visitors with safer, more efficient roads and bridges
Modern and efficient roadways are crucial to encouraging and supporting economic activity, facilitating trade, and creating good paying, middle-class jobs. The governments of Canada and Prince Edward Island are investing in roads and highways that will make it easier and safer to move people and products across the province, while supporting sustained economic growth.
The Honourable Lawrence MacAulay, Minister of Veterans Affairs and Associate Minister of National Defence, on behalf of the Honourable Bernadette Jordan, Minister of Rural Economic Development; and the Honourable Steven Myers, Prince Edward Island Minister of Transportation, Infrastructure and Energy, announced funding for four highway projects across the province, including extensive road improvements, resurfacing and paving, as well as the replacement of a number of bridges on July 25.
Work will include resurfacing 270 kilometres of PEI’s National Highway System, and rehabilitating roads and highways over the next four years. The projects will also include the replacement of 18 bridges. These improvements mean residents and visitors will benefit from increased road safety, better routes, and shorter travel times.
The Government of Canada is investing more than $101 million in these projects from the Investing in Canada infrastructure plan. The Province of Prince Edward Island will provide over $114 million to the roadway projects