Atlantic Road Report – July 2021

New Brunswick 

Measures to enhance road safety on sections of Route 11

This construction season, the provincial government will be installing shoulder and centreline rumble strips on two sections of Route 11 between Miramichi and Bouctouche to enhance traveller safety.

“This is the first time centerline rumble strips will be installed on two-lane highways in the province,” said Transportation and Infrastructure Minister Jill Green. “Other jurisdictions have successfully implemented them, and this will provide us with an opportunity to evaluate their effectiveness.”

Shoulder and centreline rumble strips will be installed on a 12-km section, from South Napan Road to McKenzie Road, and a 15-km section, from the Rexton interchange to the Saint-Pierre Road overpass.

Both centreline and shoulder rumble strips are grooves in the pavement that create vibrations and noise to alert drivers when they are leaving their lane. Research indicates that this safety measure can help reduce vehicle collisions.

“Safety is and always will be our top priority,” said Green. “We continue to review various safety options to help decrease collision rates and enhance traveller safety along Route 11.”

The project tender is expected to be posted by June.

Newfoundland

Canada and Newfoundland and Labrador Invest in Public Infrastructure and Public Transit for the St. John’s Metropolitan Area

On April 16, the Honourable Elvis Loveless, Minister of Transportation and Infrastructure; the Honourable Seamus O’Regan, Minister of Natural Resources and Member of Parliament for St. John’s South – Mount Pearl, on behalf of the Honourable Catherine McKenna, Minister of Infrastructure and Communities; and Danny Breen, Mayor of the City of St. John’s, announced funding to support 15 public building and transit projects in the St. John’s Metropolitan Area.

These projects include window replacements at Prince of Wales Collegiate and Gonzaga High in St. John’s, and at Holy Trinity High in Torbay. The Petten Building and Provincial Building 909 will receive new and reliable roofs. Further, the Duckworth Street Provincial Building will receive drainage system repairs, and the Supreme Court Building will receive HVAC improvements and accessibility upgrades for courtrooms.

In addition, St. John’s residents will benefit from an upgrade to the electronic fare collection system on both Metrobus and GoBus (para-transit) services. This will improve accurate fare collection and the ability to offer real time mobile ticketing or phone payment options to public transit passengers.

More information on these projects can be found in the backgrounder below.

The Government of Canada is investing more than $4.9 million toward these projects through COVID-19 Resilience Infrastructure Stream and the Public Transit Infrastructure Stream of the Investing in Canada Infrastructure Program while the Government of Newfoundland and Labrador is contributing $1.3 million towards the projects. The City of St. John’s is providing $122,040.

 “Our government is taking strong and quick action to protect the health and safety of all Canadians, to build-up and strengthen our economy, and to support communities across Canada. Today’s public infrastructure and public transit investments will ensure the people of St. John’s and its surrounding communities  benefit from more efficient and accessible public infrastructure, as well as reliable public transit to get where they need to go. Our infrastructure plan invests in thousands of projects, creates jobs across the country, and builds cleaner, more inclusive communities, ” said the Honourable Seamus O’Regan, Minister of Natural Resources and Member of Parliament for St. John’s South—Mount Pearl, on behalf of the Honourable Catherine McKenna, Minister of Infrastructure and Communities

Nova Scotia 

Nova Scotia Gradually Reopening for Summer

Premier Iain Rankin and Dr. Robert Strang, Nova Scotia’s chief medical officer of health, announced  May 28, that the province will reopen gradually under a five-phase plan.

“Our phased plan will allow us to safely enjoy summer with public health measures in place while we work at getting most of our population fully vaccinated,” said Premier Rankin. “Then we should be able to further ease restrictions in the fall and ease in to a new normal of living with COVID-19.”

Each phase is based on COVID-19 activity, public health and testing capacity, hospitalizations and vaccination rates. Phases are expected to last between two and four weeks as long as certain criteria are met in these areas.

Travel will no longer be restricted within most of Nova Scotia, although people are asked to avoid non-essential travel into and out of Cape Breton Regional Municipality and into and out of areas of Halifax Regional Municipality, Hubbards, Milford, Lantz, Elmsdale, Enfield, Mount Uniacke, South Uniacke, Ecum Secum and Trafalgar. A final decision will be made about travel for those areas of the province early next week, based on COVID-19 activity.

Starting Wednesday, June 2, key changes in phase one include most businesses opening further, outdoor visits at long-term care facilities, and outdoor gathering limits increasing. In subsequent phases, businesses will gradually increase capacity to the maximum capacity possible with public health measures such as physical distancing, gathering limits will further increase, events and activities will be allowed with increasing numbers of attendees, and border restrictions will start easing.

“Our epidemiology is going in the right direction and we’re at more than 50 per cent of Nova Scotians having one or more doses of vaccine, so we can start to take our first cautious steps toward reopening for the summer,” said Dr. Strang. “In deciding exactly when to move to each new phase, we will consider case numbers, hospitalizations and use of health system resources as well as the percentage of Nova Scotians who’ve been vaccinated. The more people who get vaccinated, the more we can reopen our province.”

Restrictions are easing effective 8 a.m., June 2, as phase one gets fully underway:

  • Nova Scotians can gather outdoors with a consistent social group of up to 10 people without physical distance
  • the limit for indoor gatherings remains the people you live with; two households with one or two people each can still join together but they must be the same two households all the time
  • faith gatherings can be held outdoors with a limit of 10 plus officiants when hosted by a recognized organization; drive-in services are allowed with no limit on numbers
  • wedding and funeral ceremonies remain limited to five plus officiants indoors but can increase to 10 plus officiants outdoors; there can be no receptions or visitations
  • restaurants and licensed establishments can open patios at their maximum capacity with physical distance between tables, a limit of 10 people per table and masks when people are not eating or drinking; they must stop service by 11 p.m. and close by midnight
  • all retail stores can operate at 25 per cent capacity, ensuring physical distance
  • personal services such as hair salons, barber shops and spas can operate by appointment only following their sector plan but cannot offer services that require removing the customer’s mask
  • fitness and recreation facilities can offer outdoor activities with a limit of 10 people with physical distancing, or multiple groups of 10 that are distanced on their own property, as well as one-on-one personal training indoors
  • outdoor pools can open with a limit of 10 people at a time with physical distancing
  • organized sports practices can have 10 people outdoors without physical distancing, or multiple groups of 10 that are distanced
  • professional arts and culture organizations can hold rehearsals with 15 people indoors and amateur rehearsals can have 10 people outdoors without physical distancing
  • drive-in theatres can operate with no limit on numbers
  • campgrounds can offer season and short-term camping following their sector plan with distance between campsites
  • residents of long-term care facilities can have visitors outdoors; visitors must wear masks but no physical distance is required if the resident is fully vaccinated
  • recreation activities and services such as hairstyling can resume for fully vaccinated residents of long-term care facilities
  • fully vaccinated residents of homes licensed by the Department of Health and Wellness under the Homes for Special Care Act can resume access to their communities for work or school
  • fully vaccinated residents of homes licensed by the Department of Community Service under the Homes for Special Care Act can resume access to their communities for work, therapy, recreation and family visits
  • more people can get exceptions to enter Nova Scotia for end-of-life visits with immediate family members
  • students from within Canada can apply to enter the province for in-person or virtual studies if they are enrolled in the summer semester

People who do not follow the public health measures can be fined. For example, the fine is now $2,000 for each person at an illegal gathering.

A passenger testing program at the Halifax Stanfield International Airport is planned. Other border testing measures are being considered. More details will be released as they are developed.

The reopening plan can be found at: https://novascotia.ca/coronavirus/docs/reopening-safely-with-COVID-19-plan-overview.pdf

Prince Edward Island

One-year grace period for switching to Electronic Logging Devices in PEI

In Prince Edward Island motor carriers and drivers of commercial buses and trucks, are being granted a one-year grace period to adhere to the federal law coming into effect June 12, 2021, that requires switching from a paper daily log to an electronic logging device (ELD).  

The Province of Prince Edward Island remains committed to the federal ELD mandate. However, recognizing the challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic, and the importance of adequate time for the purchase, installation and training required for compliance, the Province will allow for a progressive enforcement period without penalties until June 12, 2022.

“This one-year grace period will give drivers and carriers enough time to obtain and install devices and train people on how to use them. There will be no penalties during the grace period. Early enforcement measures will include education and awareness,” said Transportation and Infrastructure Minister James Aylward.

ELDs automatically record driving time in commercial motor vehicles. This helps to ensure that drivers are compliant with hours of service regulations resulting in reduced fatigue for drivers, improved administrative efficiency and ultimately safer roads.

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