Federal, provincial governments partner to fund Nfld. highway rehabilitation

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OTTAWA, Ont. — The governments of Canada and Newfoundland and Labrador have agreed to share equally the $48-million cost of highway rehabilitation and restoration along Route 1 of the Trans-Canada Highway in Newfoundland and Labrador. The Honourable Loyola Hearn, Minister of Fisheries and Oceans, and the Honourable Lawrence Cannon, Minister of Transport, Infrastructure and Communities, made the announcement during the signing of a joint contribution agreement to fund the cost of construction.

“Supporting quality of life for citizens, safety and a strong economy are key priorities for Canadas New Government, and we are pleased to partner in this important project in the Province of Newfoundland and Labrador,” said Minister Hearn.

“This agreement solidifies our commitment to essential highway improvements to our National Highway System,” said Minister Cannon.

As the primary route of the National Highway System in Newfoundland and Labrador, the Trans-Canada Highway supports tourism and trade and represents a vital link for the transportation of billions of dollars in economic activity both to and from the province.

The project consists of 21 highway and bridge rehabilitation and reconstruction components along Route 1 of the Trans-Canada Highway, the only major link for surface transportation between Port aux Basques in the western part of Newfoundland and St. Johns in the Avalon Peninsula.

The project, which started in August 2005 and is scheduled for completion by March 31, 2008, involves the:
-rehabilitation of 10 sections of the Trans-Canada Highway, totalling approximately 211 km. Pavement rehabilitation includes reconstruction, resurfacing and replacement of drainage culverts, signage and railings to extend the pavements useful life;
-replacement of Junction Brook Bridge, Flat Bay Brook Bridge and River Brook Bridge, along with the realignment of a 2-km section;
-rehabilitation of six bridges; Morris Brook Bridge, Southwest River Bridge, Sir Eric Hinton Bridge, Come-by-Chance River Bridge, Bald Mountain Bridge and The Steady Brook Overpass. Bridge rehabilitation includes reconstruction, restoration and repairs to improve the integrity of the structures and extend their service life;
-completion of a diamond interchange at Little Rapids; and
-repairs to a retaining wall near Shellbird Island.

On August 11, 2005, the governments of Canada and Newfoundland and Labrador announced a joint contribution of $48 million under the Canada Strategic Infrastructure Fund (CSIF) for the rehabilitation and restoration of sections of Route 1 of the Trans-Canada Highway. The announcement committed the federal government to contribute up to $24 million towards the project under the CSIF.

The formal contribution agreement announced late last week outlines the funding details and allows for eligible project costs to be reimbursed. Financial support is conditional on meeting applicable federal and provincial requirements, including the successful completion of environmental assessments and detailed engineering design.

The Government of Canada works with provincial, territorial and municipal governments, as well as with the private sector, to meet strategic infrastructure needs throughout the country. Budget 2007 made a historic investment of more than $16 billion over seven years in infrastructure, bringing federal support under a new long-term plan for infrastructure to a total of $33 billion. Newfoundland and Labrador will benefit directly from this new funding.

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