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Sussex bypass takes the lead (July 02, 2002)

SUSSEX, N.B. -- New Brunswick has made the completion the Sussex bypass such a high priority, work on two other hig...

SUSSEX, N.B. — New Brunswick has made the completion the Sussex bypass such a high priority, work on two other highway projects may be put on hold while it’s finished.

Provincial Transportation Minister Percy Mockler submitted the request for funding to Federal Transport Minister David Collenette on Nov.15, 2001. Mockler warned the province wouldn’t be able to complete two projects: the Route 2 Sussex bypass, and the twinning of Route 1 connecting St. Stephen and Saint John.

The interchange is being touted as high priority in order to improve the heavy traffic flow between Moncton and Saint John and because it was also the site of a fatal bus accident involving students from Massachusetts, which has drawn bouts of media attention.

“The twinning of this short section of highway and the reconfiguration of the interchange is a top priority of the government of New Brunswick and I am recommending the reallocation of funding within the current agreement to achieve this goal,” wrote Mockler.

New Brunswick’s recommendation suggests putting Route 1 work on hold, except for the construction of an interchange at Route 1 and Route 127 at Waweig to resolve a safety issue. Mockler ensures this would free up millions of dollars for the Sussex bypass.

The remaining funds could be found by using the money saved on the Woodstock to Pokiok segment of the Trans-Canada Highway work. Those savings came from updating designs and competitive bidding by contractors.

Collenette agreed and suggested a meeting to “re-visit” lower priority projects to possibly dig up some more funding.

“However, I have some concerns about reallocating funds from Route 1 — Waweig to the St. Stephen project,” Collenette replied referencing an $18 million investment from both governments. “I would appreciate your views on how the province is planning to complete this work to protect and make full use of our governments’ investments to date.”

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