N.S. Premier outlines potential Gateway projects

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HALIFAX, N.S. — Premier Rodney MacDonald has given a broad outline of the potential infrastructure projects that will help transform Nova Scotia into the Atlantic Gateway of North America.

Specifically, the premier highlighted a new multi-transportation corridor to Halifax’s Ocean terminal, a new Gateway Logistics Park adjacent to the Burnside Industrial Park, the Burnside Connector, and twinning Highway 104 from Antigonish to Port Hawkesbury, a new refrigerated terminal at Halifax Stanfield International Airport, and dredging Sydney Harbour as part of the initial proposed changes.

“We need to transform aspects of our infrastructure in order to meet the economic opportunities that importing and exporting will offer in the years ahead,” said Premier MacDonald at a Nova Scotia Chambers of Commerce breakfast in Halifax March 5. “These projects are tangible examples of how we can reach our full Gateway potential, and also meet our government’s immediate priority of building better roads and infrastructure another step toward a new Nova Scotia.”

The multi-transportation corridor involves paving vehicle lanes beside the rail track in what is now known as the “rail cut” that takes trains to the Ocean terminal in downtown Halifax. This multi-trans corridor would serve a number of functions:
– reduce the time it takes for a transport truck to go from Ocean terminal to the highway, thus reduce costs;
– reduce traffic congestion on downtown city streets;
– reduce greenhouse-gas emissions from trucks idling at lights; and
– be available for emergency vehicles and commuter-link buses, which would also further reduce emissions.

“The multi-trans corridor is the perfect example of a Gateway project because it helps us move toward our environment, economic and infrastructure targets simultaneously, and creates a business advantage for a company choosing Nova Scotia as its Gateway,” said the premier.

Gateway Logistics Park, which would be adjacent to the Burnside Industrial Park, would receive containers that do not go to final destinations immediately. There, they could be broken down into smaller shipments, or combined with others to create larger shipments.

The logistics park would also include a new Logistics Centre of Excellence to allow for skills training and development, and research into transportation and logistics, which would be led by Nova Scotia’s community colleges and universities.

The premier also listed twinning Highway 104 from Antigonish to Port Hawkesbury and dredging Sydney Harbour as Gateway projects that will improve the efficiency of transporting goods to or from the Strait or Sydney ports.

The premier thanked the various groups that offered input into the project list, including the Halifax and Nova Scotia chambers of commerce, the ports of Halifax, Sydney and and Strait Superport, the Greater Halifax Partnership, Atlantic Provinces Economic Council (APEC), Atlantic Institute for Market Studies (AIMS), Halifax Regional Municipality and the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency (ACOA).

“Our list of Gateway projects come predominantly from the private sector, and I thank them for their input; we’ve listened carefully to what these experts have told us,” said Premier MacDonald. “But this list is not the complete Gateway picture. What we have today are the initial results of thinking differently to take advantage of the immediate Gateway opportunity.

“I encourage Nova Scotia’s business community to do the same think differently, and think big to find your place within the Gateway concept.”

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