Changes planned for P.E.I. portions of the Trans-Canada could see the highway bypass Crapaud, a perennial bane for travellers heading for Charlottetown, and fix other dangerous sections, CBC News has learned.
The projects, to be announced jointly by Ottawa and the province, would redesign some of the more treacherous sections of the highway between the Confederation Bridge and Charlottetown at a cost of as much as $20 million.
The province set aside $15 million in its capital budget last year for Trans-Canada improvements. The money was to be matched by Ottawa under its Atlantic Gateway project, which is meant to allow for quicker, safer, movement of goods in the region.
P.E.I. Transportation Minister Ron MacKinley has identified four sections of the Trans-Canada Highway he wants redesigned and improved, and is expected to announce soon that work on at least two of them will go ahead.
The top priority is a bypass around Churchill, to circumvent its steep hills and twisting sections. MacKinley has also said he wants to straighten parts of the road and bridge along the Desable section of the highway.
There are also plans for a bypass route around Crapaud. Currently the highway runs through the town's centre and includes a T intersection at the bottom of a steep hill at a sharp corner.
MacKinley also wants to rebuild another sharply curved section of highway, known as the Tryon Y, where two rural roads feed onto the Trans-Canada.
MacKinley turned down an interview Tuesday but said construction work will begin next year.
There will be public meetings and consultations on the projects.