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York MLA promises Hanwell interchange

FREDERICTON, N.B. -- The Hanwell Road Action Committee will get its wish for an interchange connecting Hanwell Road...

FREDERICTON, N.B. — The Hanwell Road Action Committee will get its wish for an interchange connecting Hanwell Road to the Trans-Canada Highway, a local politician has promised.

York MLA Don Kinney says the Department of Transportation plans to construct an on-off ramp at Hanwell Road and the highway.

He said he’s been given assurances from both Premier, Bernard Lord, and Transportation Minister, Percy Mockler, that a multi-million -dollar interchange would be built connecting the roadway to the highway within two to three years.

“I have been assured by all parties within two to three years, the project will go ahead,” Kinney says.

ADI Ltd. pegged the ramp’s cost at $6.3 million, including $2 million for the relocation of government garages.

The committee mounted an intense political lobby to get the ramp built more than three years ago. It created its own Web site, paid for full-page newspaper ads, collected 4,000 signatures on a petition and staged packed community meetings.

Ed Cochrane, action committee member, says he’s satisfied with the timeframe Kinney has set out for construction of the ramp.

“It’s been a long haul, but we are very happy that the government took the time to listen to us,” says Cochrane.

The highway connection has been a sore spot in municipal/provincial relations over the last few years.

The City of Fredericton opposes the interchange construction and wants other construction within city limits done first.

Fredericton Mayor Les Hull has said the interchange would spur more fringe development outside city limits and put pressure on the already overburdened Hanwell Road.

Those who lobbied for the interchange argued it would address a pressing safety issue on Hanwell Road. A significant percentage of the region’s trucking and transportation businesses are located on the roadway and the trucks are forced to use the route as their main transportation link.

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