Bits and pieces of highway and transportation news from around the Atlantic region
Trans-Canada Highway Near Gander Named Remembrance Way
The Department of Transportation and Works, in collaboration with the Town of Gander, has named a section of the Trans-Canada Highway near Gander as Remembrance Way in honour of the 100 Second World War soldiers and airmen laid to rest at the Commonwealth War Graves Commission Cemetery and members of the U.S. Army’s 101st Airborne Division.
The Honourable John Haggie, Minister of Health and Community Services, took part in a ceremony to unveil a sign displaying a poppy and the 101st Airborne Division’s logo yesterday (Monday, November 11) at the North Atlantic Aviation Museum.
The two-kilometre section of highway east of Gander extends one kilometre east and west of the midpoint between the cemetery and the Silent Witness Memorial, which commemorates the crash site of Arrow Air Flight 1285 where the 248 members of the 101st Airborne Division and eight civilians died in 1985.
“Gander has always welcomed the world as a stopover for the thousands of men and women who served their countries in times of war and peace. We value their service. The naming of this historical stretch of highway is a fitting tribute and reminder of their heroic contributions for which we owe a debt of gratitude. I thank Sergeant (Retired) Robert J. Smith for his initiative and all who played a role in making this tribute possible ” said Haggie.
Capital budget focuses on maintaining infrastructure
The provincial government announced December 11 that $325.2 million will be set aside in the 2020-21 capital budget for the Department of Transportation and Infrastructure.
“Our government is continuing to take a responsible approach to spending,” said Transportation and Infrastructure Minister Bill Oliver. “Strategic and well-planned investments in our provincial roads and bridges can support improved economic outcomes. Proper maintenance can also save money over the long term and can be reinvested in further improvements to our transportation network.”
The department will allocate $137.6 million to its highway program, $44.4 million to its bridge program, $87.3 million for the federal-provincial program, $30.9 million for public works and infrastructure, $15 million for the Vehicle Management Agency and $10 million for the Municipal Designated Highway program.
“We will continue to look at opportunities to partner with the federal government on projects which align with our priorities for improving or maintaining existing infrastructure,” said Oliver. “We will do so by using the asset management system to take politics out of infrastructure spending.”
The department’s capital budget is included in the government’s $599.2 million capital budget that maintains continuity and builds upon the financial progress made over the past year.
The department will continue work on several projects, including;
- Anderson Bridge;
- Coles Island Bridges;
- Petitcodiac River Bridge;
- Centennial Bridge;
- Route 11, Shediac River to Cocagne River; and
- Route 11, Cocagne River to Little Bouctouche River.
Additionally, the government has committed $1 million this year to begin work on the engineering design of a replacement bridge in Shippagan-Lamèque and for work to assure the safety of the existing bridge, including cable replacements, while design work on the new bridge is being done.
Oliver said that while the government understands some difficult decisions needed to be made, the focus must be on maintaining the province’s current infrastructure.
Province Releases 2020-21 Five Year Highway Plan
Nova Scotia will invest at least $300 million to improve and upgrade roads, highways and bridges across the province.
The Five Year Highway Plan includes more than 150 major construction and improvement projects for the coming year that will make roads, highways and bridges safer.
“Transportation is critical to ensure our economy and to the safety of the people who use our roads and highways,” said Transportation and Infrastructure Renewal Minister Lloyd Hines. “It’s part of our commitment to ensure safe and connected communities.”
Twelve major construction projects are planned for the focus on twinning portions of Highways 101, 103, 104 and the Sackville-Bedford-Burnside Connector on Highway 107.
The department will continue to spend on safety improvements for highways not being twinned. That work involves improving intersections, adding passing lanes, climbing lanes and turning lanes, interchanges, as well as roundabouts.
The plan outlines new projects such as:
- construction of the Bridgewater Interchange in Lunenburg County
- construction of a new roundabout at the intersection of Highway 105 and Route 252 in Inverness County
- design work for Trunk 30 from MacLellans Cross Road to the Victoria/Inverness County line
Investment in in the Gravel Road Program to rebuild existing gravel roads in rural Nova Scotia, improving safety and reducing maintenance costs continues to be a priority.
Funding for the plan is subject to approval in the 2020-21 budget. View the plan here.
Prince Edward Island
Report road issues by text message
Islanders can now easily report broken traffic lights, broken pavement, problems with the Confederation Trail, and plowing/sanding issues to government by text message.
Through a partnership with the Island company BamText, Islanders can text information, pictures or video to highway maintenance staff in their county. Staff will use this information to investigate concerns and dispatch crews as needed.
“We want to provide better service to Islanders and we know it’s convenient to send a quick text. We also want to know about road issues right away so we can fix small problems before they become big problems. The technology allows us to make sure a response on our end is happening in a timely manner, and it lets us track trends over time so we have good data on what’s happening on our Island roads.”
– Transportation, Infrastructure and Energy Minister Steven Myers
Report provincial road issues via text message using the following numbers:
“BamText is a Prince Edward Island-based customer and public engagement platform used by North America’s largest companies to engage with public to receive feedback, suggestions, or to notify a government/business of an issue,” said Jordan Fraser of BamText. “Built on SMS technologies, BamText is currently live in more than 1500 companies throughout North America including Irving Oil, Circle K and Parks Canada.”
Islanders can continue to report issues by phone or email. All contact information is available at Report a Road or Traffic Problem. All the latest road conditions are made available via phone at 511 or via mobile device or computer at www.511.gov.pe.ca