Tunnel to be built on Hwy.101

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HANTSPORT, N.S. – The deadly intersection of Highway 101 and Ben Jackson Road near Hantsport will be replaced with a tunnel when highway twinning from St. Croix to Avonport is complete.

Original plans included a parallel access road to take Ben Jackson Road traffic on the south side of the 101 to the nearby Avonport exit, but the access road plan was rejected by local residents. However, the option of a tunnel did garner support and the transportation department has been working on a design they hope will work for the community.

“We’ll probably take it to the public this spring or summer. Certainly before anything becomes finalized,” says Phil Corkum, the department’s manager of highway planning and design.

The province can’t say when the 24-kilometre twinning project will be complete or even when it will start because funding is contingent on a federal-provincial infrastructure agreement, which has yet to be signed.

“Even if we don’t have an agreement, our timetable now is to do some clearing in January and February of 2004, so we could be ready to start construction in the summer of 2004,” Corkum says.

The 2004 start date also depends on successfully completing an environmental assessment of the 24 kilometres between now and then.

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