Newfoundland nets record $182 million for road projects

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ST. JOHN’S, Nfld. Newfoundlanders can expect big changes on there highways following the province’s record $182 million investment in road improvements. The Honourable Dianne Whalen, Minister of Transportation and Works made the announcement during the annual general meeting of the Newfoundland and Labrador Road Builders/Heavy Civil Association last week.

Of the $182 million, a record $73 million is slated for the 2008-09 Provincial Roads Improvement Program. The amount is 10% more than the total for last year’s program, which was then an all-time high.

“I’m happy to say this is the largest roads improvement and construction program in the history of the province,” said Minister Whalen. “Premier Williams has made infrastructure improvement a top priority for this government. Our government is in the third year of a six-year infrastructure strategy, worth over $2 billion, and our unprecedented investment in our transportation network and early approval of the Provincial Roads Improvement Program is a key part of this plan. This significant funding will not only make our roads smoother and safer, it will impact our economy and tourism industry.”

Among the projects slated for the $73 million is $14 million for bridge construction and rehabilitation and $6 million for wheel rutting on the Trans Canada Highway. Specific roads project announcements will commence in the coming weeks.

Included in the $182 million overall total in provincial road funding this year are $17 million for construction of Phase III of the Trans Labrador Highway, $5 million in carry-over from widening and hard-surfacing of Phase I of the Trans Labrador Highway last summer and $3 million in carry over from the 2007-08 Provincial Roads Improvement Program.

The Provincial and Federal Government will also cost-share, on a 50-50 basis, the following projects:
– $40 million for hard-surfacing of Phase I of the Trans Labrador Highway;
– $7 million for construction of the Torbay By-Pass;
– $3.5 million for Conception Bay South (CBS) By-Pass Road Extension;
– $33.8 million worth of National Highway System projects, which the Provincial Government will be advancing to the Federal Government for consideration under the recently-signed Infrastructure Framework Agreement.

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