INVERNESS, N.S. — A $10-million construction project to replace the Margaree Harbor Bridge is the first major highway improvement project to be announced under this year’s capital roads budget.
Transportation and Public Works Minister Ron Russell says this is a significant and much needed upgrade on the Cabot Trail that will have many positive benefits for the surrounding communities and for all of Cape Breton.
“By making key investments such as this, we’re beginning to address the province’s $3.4 billion problem with highways and bridges in Nova Scotia,” says Russell.
Tourism and Culture Minister Rodney MacDonald officially announced the government’s decision at a community meeting in Belle Cote, where engineered drawings of three potential designs to be included in the tender package were unveiled.
The new structure will replace a 42-year-old bridge over the Margaree Harbor, which is supported by timber piles and is reaching the end of its useful life.
Bridge engineers have recommended it would be more cost effective to build a new steel or concrete structure rather than making costly short-term repairs to the old wooden bridge.
Work on the cofferdams and the remainder of the structure will begin this summer. Work on the superstructure will begin next summer with a completion date of December 2003.
The existing bridge will remain open during construction.
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