FREDERICTON, N.B. — The province will increase spending on road construction next year by $28 million as well as double expenditures on health-care capital projects.
The Transportation budget got the biggest increase, with a $28-million hike in road construction and repair over the current year, bringing the total capital transportation budget to $196 million.
In the coming weeks, transportation minister, Percy Mockler, will detail the road projects to be funded, but at least $25 million of the $28 million increase will be spent on the initial stages of twinning the Trans-Canada Highway from Long’s Creek to Quebec.
And a good chunk of the increase will be covered by the government’s decision to hike diesel taxes effective today, a move that will bring in $23.3 million in revenue to be spent on road construction.
Jim Hughson, executive director of the Road Builders Association of New Brunswick, welcomed the increase in road spending.
He says the 15-year average in road spending up to 1999-00 is $101 million per year.
“This year’s total is going to exceed that, so I can’t be anything but pleased,” Hughson says.
He says as a driver, he’s not all that happy about the increase in gas and diesel taxes.
“But as a representative of Roadbuilders, knowing that all of that money will go into road work, I can’t really complain about it,” he says.
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