Membertou First Nation interchange

A new highway interchange will give direct access to Membertou First Nation and a new commercial development. (Membertou First Nation)

Membertou First Nation has opened an interchange that provides direct access from the highway into the community.

Construction on the $8-million project began in the summer of 2012.

Membertou is already one of the most successful and fastest growing aboriginal communities in the country.

Chief Terry Paul says the interchange not only offers a second roadway into Membertou, but will also provide direct access to a major retail development the band hopes to begin work on this summer.

"It's very important because it connects us with the rest of the public. It's part of doing business and we just want to be part of that." 

The 80-hectare Churchill Crossing will feature big box stores, retail outlets and a housing development.

It will all be located on band-owned land off Highway 125, across from the community.

Paul says the development will be similar to Dartmouth Crossing but on a smaller scale.

The retail part of the site will be built in phases over the next five years.