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Northern N.B. roads up for some work

FREDERICTON, N.B. -- This year's budget is allowing for some much needed help for New Brunswick's crumbling norther...

FREDERICTON, N.B. — This year’s budget is allowing for some much needed help for New Brunswick’s crumbling northern roads.

With an election in the wings, all political parties are now putting on an intense push to speed up the construction of Routes 11 and 17.

Details of how much work will be done this year won’t be made public until Transportation Minister Percy Mockler releases his budget estimates which are expected next week. But both Mockler and Premier Bernard Lord are promising some work will be done and are eager to sign a new federal road deal to expedite the process.

“We’ve stated unequivocally that we are prepared to sign a 50-50 agreement to do major upgrades on Routes 17 and 11 and we’d like that to be a multi-year approach over five years,” Lord says. “We’d be prepared to pay $90 million.”

Last week, Mockler fired off a letter to federal Transport Minister, David Collenette, saying he wanted an immediate meeting to discuss Ottawa coughing up the additional $90 million for the northern roads.

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