Can’t keep a good port down

HALIFAX — Despite a decision to not proceed with a railway expansion leading up to the Halterm container terminal in Nova Scotia, the port and surrounding trucking community remain unfazed.

A recent feasibility report, put the cost of the project at $220 million, which was a far cry from the $80 million originally anticipated a few years back. As a result plans to proceed with the much-hyped truck-train freight corridor into Halifax were dropped.

The truck-train freight corridor expansion was just one on a list of several projects Premier Rodney MacDonald is hoping will boost the Atlantic Gateway Initiative, so the port is still expected to remain competitive.

"The port has been competitive and will continue to be competitive into the future," David Oxner, director of the provincial Gateway Initiative, told local media. "The port continually has to look at ways to improve efficiencies and decrease costs. This was just one aspect of that. So I think the port and its partners will have to continue doing that work."

One key aspect of the corridor was to divert a large portion of the region’s truck traffic away from the downtown area.

But the Atlantic Provinces Trucking Association says there will be other opportunities to accomplish that goal.

"The logistics look too great in terms of what had to be done in terms of the construction and engineering side,” Peter Nelson, executive director of the APTA, told the Chronicle Herald. “It was a mammoth project to undertake at this time, so we can certainly understand why the province might not want to go forward with it.”

If the province feels the railway cut is not an option, "then we would be more than willing to work with them to look at other options," he adds.

— with files from the Chronicle Herald

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