Rural roads in southwestern New Brunswick to receive millions in upgrades

Click to play video: 'New Brunswick government commits millions for repairs to rural roads' New Brunswick government commits millions for repairs to rural roads
WATCH ABOVE: The state of New Brunswick rural roads is often seen as a point of contention, not just for residents, but for those visiting the province. As Global's Andrew Cromwell reports, the Gallant government will do some major work this summer on two roadways in the southwestern part of the province – May 19, 2017

The New Brunswick government says it will spend more than $5 million this construction season on rural roads in Charlotte and York counties.

They construction will focus on nine kilometres of road on Route 630 and another nine kilometres on nearby Route 3. They are key roads for communities like St. Stephen and McAdam — which thrive on the tourism they bring to the area.

“It’s one of our tourism icons and maintenance for the province and it’s important to have good infrastructure for tourists,” said New Brunswick Transportation Minister Bill Fraser. “Not only for tourists, for the safety of the local people that use those roads as well each and every day.”

READ MORE: Collisions with animals on N.B. roads have nearly doubled this spring: province

“You’ve got people coming here and you want to look good and you want to have good highways for them to drive on,” said Allan MacEachern, Mayor of  St. Stephen. “They’ll always remember the bad ones”.

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The Liberals cast at least some of the blame for poor roads at the previous government.

“[They] made significant cuts to the budgets for our road networks in the province,” Fraser said. “Since taking office in 2014 we’ve been rebuilding the department.”

READ MORE: ‘Road rage’ incident in Saint John parking lot caught on video

People who use the roads stress the overall importance of maintaining infrastructure.

“You don’t have infrastructure, you don’t have business, you don’t have an economy because you need the infrastructure to keep the economy moving and keep jobs going,” said Wenda Koehler, an area resident.

The paving will take place throughout the summer and fall.

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