the Atlantic Road Report – Summer 2020 edition

Bits and pieces of news you can use gathered from around the Atlantic region

Newfoundland and Labrador

Provincial Government Preparing for Road Construction Season

The Department of Transportation and Works has released the list of provincial road projects planned for 2020-21 to allow contractors to be prepared to start work when the road construction season begins.

All contractors will be required to follow the guidelines to help prevent the spread of COVID-19. Work will only proceed where contractors are able to demonstrate they are able to provide safe working environments for crews.

Tenders for 11 projects have already been issued and 10 more tenders are planned to be issued this summer. A list of projects planned for this year can be found on the NL government website. The updated lists for the remaining four years of the Five-Year Provincial Roads Plan will be announced at a later date.

Projects added to the roads plan are ranked on factors such as safety, traffic volumes, and input from the department’s engineers, and users of provincial roads and highways. A public consultation held in 2019 received 227 submissions.

For the most up-to-date information related to COVID-19, please visit www.gov.nl.ca/covid-19. For general inquiries related to available government services, please email covid19info@gov.nl.ca.

New Brunswick

Change in ferry service for Kennebecasis Island and Millidgeville-Summerville

A change to the ferry service for both the Millidgeville and Summerville crossing, and the crossing to Kennebecasis Island, has been announced by the Department of Transportation and Infrastructure.

Beginning Friday, May 15, the Peninsula Princess ferry will provide service to both the Millidgeville and Summerville crossing and the crossing for Kennebecasis Island.

“Over the past three years the province had hired a private company to provide 12 to 16 hours per day of on-demand service to Kennebecasis Island, at a significant cost to taxpayers,” said Transportation and Infrastructure Minister Bill Oliver. “The province cannot continue this annual expense and must look for more economical solutions and maximize our current resources.”

The Peninsula Princess will operate on a new schedule, except for the 5:45 a.m. and 10 p.m. departures from Kennebecasis Island, which will not be offered until at least June 1.

Nova Scotia

Funding Supports Environmental Clean Up at Mill Site

Now that the Northern Pulp mill has stopped discharging wastewater into Boat Harbour, Nova Scotians expect the remainder of the shutdown of the mill site to be completed in a way that is safe and protects the environment.

Government owns the pipe that runs from the mill to Boat Harbour and is funding work to decommission the pipe along with other key elements of the environmental clean up.

Government is providing Paper Excellence, the mill’s parent company, a maximum of $10 million, or about half of the cost of shutting down the Boat Harbour effluent treatment facility, as part of the work to hibernate the mill. 

The funding will pay for the removal of the leachate, decommission the pipes, ditches, and settling and aeration basins on the site.

“We are committed to seeing the clean up is done right, and through the funding agreement, we will hold the company accountable to make sure it does,” said Premier Stephen McNeil. “Completing this work is an important part of the process to return Boat Harbour – A’se’k – to its original state for the people of Pictou Landing First Nation and surrounding communities.”

The company’s work plan is in line with orders from the Minister of Environment and needs to be complete before Nova Scotia Lands can remediate Boat Harbour in 2021.

Quick Facts:

the company has estimated the total shutdown process will cost about $20 million and is expected to be completed by June 30, 2021

the company will provide reports to the province and all costs will be validated by a third party, Grant Thornton.

Prince Edward Island

Access PEI gives Islanders more options for service delivery

Access PEI office in Montague is piloting contactless services to clients, offering more flexible services to Islanders.

As announced by Transportation, Infrastructure and Energy Minister Steven Myers last week, the Access PEI site in Montague is now offering select services to the public by email and phone only, including driver’s license renewals, vehicle registration renewals, and address changes. 

“I am proud that the Highway Safety Division and Access PEI are among the service areas that came up with innovative solutions to safely serve Islanders during this unprecedented time. Access PEI has been looking at ways of offering more flexible services to better meet the needs of Islanders, and the current pandemic situation presented an opportunity to explore how we can do so safely.” 

– Transportation, Infrastructure and Energy Minister Steven Myers

This contactless service pilot, which will run until August 28, will reduce the need for in-person service to keep clients and staff safe, as well as improve convenience and reduce wait times for Islanders. Government is tracking the results from this pilot project and will identify any additional ways contactless and digital services may be provided to Islanders going forward. 

“As part of the COVID-19 adaptation efforts, our government has been reviewing how to serve Islanders and making necessary changes to ensure we offer our services in a way that is safe for them and staff. We are learning a lot from the changes we are making so that if and when we face a second wave of COVID-19, we will be ready to maintain services to Islanders, such as those being delivered through Access PEI,” added Minister Myers.  

Islanders who would like to take advantage of contactless service can call the Access PEI site in Montague at 902-838-0600 or email accesspeimontague@gov.pe.ca  

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