Nova Scotia drivers weeks away from free passage on province's only toll highway
Visitors to Nova Scotia will still have to pay to use 45-km stretch of Highway 104
Nova Scotia's only toll highway should be free for Nova Scotia drivers by the end of the month.
Public Works Minister Kim Masland said the province has paid off the debt owing to the private corporation that built the 45-kilometre stretch of Highway 104 between Masstown and Thomson Station.
Paying off that roughly $30-million debt was a key step in fulfilling the obligation the province took in 1995, when it signed a deal with the Highway 104 Western Alignment Corporation to finance, design, construct, operate and maintain the four-lane divided section of the Trans-Canada Highway.
Paying off the debt also allows the province to remove the tolls, which Masland said she expects to happen by the end of this month.
A committee made up of representatives from the various departments involved in the project are now working out the details associated with removing the tolls.
Masland said Nova Scotians will benefit from a free ride whether they're driving a personal vehicle or one for work. She said the tolls will no longer be applied to vehicles that are registered in the province, including commercial vehicles.
A decision has not been made yet with regard to out-of-province drivers.
What also still needs to be determined is how tolls will be collected from out-of-province drivers, and what will happen to the roughly 50 people who work at the toll plaza.
"I am aware that some people at the plaza have already moved on to different jobs because they knew that this was a commitment of government to remove tolls," Masland said.
"We'll see what the interdepartmental committee comes up with to help those people."
- A decision has not been made about whether out-of-province drivers will pay a toll. A previous version of this story contained incorrect information. This version has been updated.Nov 04, 2021 12:05 PM AT