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N.B. billed an extra $27M

FREDERICTON, N.B. -- The newly opened Fredericton to Moncton four-lane highway could end up costing New Brunswicker...


FREDERICTON, N.B. — The newly opened Fredericton to Moncton four-lane highway could end up costing New Brunswickers an additional $27 million.

Transportation Minister Percy Mockler revealed the Maritime Road Development Corporation is claiming $27 million in additional construction costs beyond the amount agreed upon in the contract with the province.

The claims are currently being reviewed behind closed doors by a three-person arbitration panel headed by former Supreme Court Justice Peter Cory of Ontario.

Mockler confirmed the $27-million claim late Wednesday during a hastily convened scrum with reporters, just hours after he told Radio Canada MRDC’s claims totaled approximately $100 million.

The minister wasn’t clear about why he first said the claims totaled $100 million, but added he wanted to meet with reporters to set the record straight about the actual amount.

“There are different numbers that have been flying, and I was appraised of a number, given a number by people this afternoon, and I went to my office and I said I want to know exactly the amount and where it is in the process,” he says.

“I came back immediately, and this is why I am here to confirm to you the actual amount of the claim, which is at the arbitration panel, (that) is approximately $27 million.”

The minister says he is unable to give any details about the reasons behind the additional construction costs because the two sides are bound by a confidentiality agreement.


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