Ottawa is investing $47.5 million in two infrastructure projections in Halifax that will help increase capacity at the Port of Halifax, the federal minister of transport announced on Sunday.
The first project will increase storage capacity at the Port of Halifax by connecting the South End Container Terminal to the Fairview Cove Container Terminal by rail.
The port will also add rail tracks and acquire four new rail-mounted cranes to load and unload containers faster and more efficiently at both terminals as a result of the new funding.
The second project will upgrade the Windsor Street Exchange, the main access road to the Port of Halifax. The work will include a realignment of the Bedford Highway and upgrading Lady Hammond Road by installing new traffic signals.
Those upgrades will have the goal of reducing traffic congestion, improve safety and increasing the reliability of freight movements.
Marc Garneau said the two projects will help improve Canada’s ability to ship goods to markets around the globe.
Mayor Mike Savage: “We will always be a true port city.” pic.twitter.com/8xo6NOT1cw— Jeremy Keefe (@Jeremy_Keefe) June 2, 2019
“We are supporting projects to efficiently move goods to market and people to their destinations, stimulate economic growth, create quality middle-class jobs, and ensure that Canada’s transportation networks remain competitive and efficient,” said Garneau, who was accompanied by Andy Fillmore, MP for Halifax.
The rail expansion will improve safety and shift truck traffic out of Halifax’s downtown core.
Labi Kousoulis, MLA for Halifax Citadel-Sable Island, said it could take as much as 75 per cent of the trucks out of the downtown core.
WATCH: Port of Halifax explores expansion options
Halifax mayor Mike Savage welcomed the investment on Sunday.
“We will always be a true port city,” Savage said.
“This is really important to all of us. It’s exciting.”
The federal government says the investments are expected to have important economic benefits — though it did not provide detailed information on what those will be.
It’s estimated that 880 jobs will be created during the construction phase of both projects.