News and views collected from around the Atlantic region.
Province releases 2021-22 Five-Year Highway Plan
Nova Scotia will invest almost $500 million to improve and upgrade roads, highways and bridges across the province this year.
The Five-Year Highway Improvement Plan includes more than 150 major construction and improvement projects for the coming year that will make Nova Scotia’s roads, highways and bridges safer.
“Our highway system is the backbone of our province. Investing in our highways, roads and bridges is an investment in public safety,” said Transportation and Infrastructure Renewal Minister Lloyd Hines. “This year and last year represent more than a billion dollars invested in our road and highway infrastructure.”
Eleven major construction projects are planned for 2021-22, with the focus on ongoing twinning of Highways 101, 103, 104 and Highway 107 (the Sackville-Bedford-Burnside Connector).
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 and roundabouts.
The plan includes:
- improvements for the Port Hastings Rotary
- the new Highway 102 Aerotech Connector
- construction of the new Bridgewater Interchange
- 19 bridges to be replaced or rehabilitated
- more than 500 kilometres of asphalt and gravel road work
Investment 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.
The plan can be found at: https://novascotia.ca/tran/highways/fiveyearplan.asp
New Licence Plate Honours Retired Volunteers
Government is introducing new recognition for retired volunteer firefighters and ground search and rescue members.
A special licence plate will be available to retired volunteer firefighters and ground search and rescue workers with at least 15 years experience. The plate comes at no cost and those groups will also be exempt from paying vehicle permit fees.
“Volunteer firefighters and search and rescue workers have generously given their time and risked their lives to help others,” said Lloyd Hines, Minister of Transportation and Infrastructure. “This new plate recognizes the invaluable contribution and service these brave volunteers have made to their communities.”
Road safety study to be conducted in collaboration with Oromocto First Nation
The provincial government is taking part in a road safety study in Oromocto, near the Oromocto First Nation.
The study will be conducted by Dillon Consultants Engineering and will include a review of the safety of the following intersections:
- Route 102 (Waasis Road) and Hiawatha Avenue;
- Route 102 and Ganong Street; and
- Route 102 and MacDonald Avenue.
“We are pleased with the opportunity to collaborate with our partners to evaluate how to enhance safety for all road users at these intersections,” said Transportation and Infrastructure Minister Jill Green. “Working together on this project broadens everyone’s understanding of all the essential considerations and will allow us to find the best results.”
“This safety study is very important to the Oromocto First Nation’s members, the residents of New Brunswick and the soldiers who travel through this area on a daily basis,” said Oromocto First Nation Chief Shelley Sabattis. “I would like to personally thank Mayor Powell, Minister Green, Colonel Parsons and Indigenous Services Canada for their partnership and making this safety study possible.”
This study will compile information and data on physical and operational conditions; traffic and pedestrian flow; and intersection configuration within the area. The goal will be to identify and address safety concerns.
“The town is pleased to be a financial and participating partner in this road safety review,” said Oromocto Mayor Bob Powell. “I believe by working together with our stakeholders we will collectively be able to find a solution that improves the safety for the residents in that area and for the community.”
In addition to the provincial government, Oromocto First Nation and the Town of Oromocto, others who have partnered in this study include the Department of National Defence – Base Gagetown and Indigenous Services Canada.
“Community safety is everyone’s responsibility and the Oromocto First Nation road safety review is an example of how multiple partners can come together for common good,” said Colonel Dwayne Parsons, commander of the 5th Canadian Division Support Group.
“Safer roads benefit everyone,” said federal Indigenous Services Minister Marc Miller. “The Oromocto First Nation Intersection Safety Committee is a great example of leadership and partnership between multiple governments working together collaboratively to better address a priority safety concern affecting community members and nearby residents.”
Rennies River Flood Mitigation
Portugal Cove Road to King’s Bridge Road
Proponent: City of St. John’s
The City of St. John’s is proposing to construct two earthen berms and erosion control measures along the Rennies River, to reduce flooding and associated effects between Portugal Cove Road to King’s Bridge Road. Construction of the berms would include clearing of vegetation, grubbing organic matter, and earthworks. Construction of the bank stabilization would include vegetation clearing and placement of the new materials required to stabilize the bank. This undertaking is expected to occur over a six month period during spring/summer 2021.
The undertaking was registered on February 2, 2021; the deadline for public comments is March 10, 2021; and, the minister’s decision is due by March 19, 2021.