April 26, 2017 12:19 pm
Updated: April 26, 2017 5:34 pm

Nova Scotia says ‘no’ to highway tolls, unveils twinning plan

The Nova Scotia government is committing an extra $390 million in an effort to make highways safer. Jennifer Grudic reports.

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The Nova Scotia government is committing an additional $390 million to improve highways over the next seven years, and will be doing so without tolls.

On Wednesday, Transportation Minister Geoff MacLellan said the province will also be seeking funding from the federal government through the Building Canada Fund. The province has already submitted business cases for consideration.

The capital funding will go towards twinning three sections of the 100-series highways.

Those projects include:

  • Highway 101, Three Mile Plains to Falmouth, including the Windsor Causeway – 9.5 km
  • Highway 103, Tantallon to Hubbards – 32 km
  • Highway 104, Sutherlands River to Antigonish, including Barneys River – 38 km

READ MORE: Nova Scotia spending spree touted as indication of potential spring election

The province will also be building the long-awaited Burnside Connector which will be a four-lane, divided highway between Burnside and Bedford.

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$30 million of the additional funding will go towards improving sections of un-twinned highway. That could include interchange improvements, turning and passing lanes. There will also be a safety study conducted on Highway 107 from Burnside to Musquodoboit.

Nearly 2,000 people took part in 14 public consultations about highway twinning throughout the province earlier this year. Close to 5,400 gave their feedback online.

READ MORE: Tolling Nova Scotia highways will allow twinning ‘decades earlier’: province

“We did not hear overwhelming support from Nova Scotians about paying a toll for twinned highways, but they were clear we should act now to improve our roads,” said MacLellan in a news release.

“We will do that with an emphasis on safety and, at the same time, we will create economic opportunity for Nova Scotians.”

The province also announced they are planning to remove tolls from the Cobequid Pass sometime in 2019 for motorists living in Nova Scotia. A decision on whether or not they’ll continue to toll commercial vehicles and non-Nova Scotia residents in order to cover ongoing maintenance costs is still up for discussion.

 

© 2017 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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