$17M Ingramport connector now open along Highway 103

The $17-million interchange connecting Ingramport, N.S., near St. Margarets Bay opened early Wednesday evening

Province now looking at cost to twin parts of Highway 103 between Tantallon and Bridgewater

This road now connects to Highway 103 from the roundabout. (Anjuli Patil/CBC)

Nova Scotia's newest interchange opened Wednesday evening, a $17-million project near St. Margarets Bay that connects Highway 103 to Ingramport.

"There haven't been any issues in terms of traffic flow," said Transportation Minister Geoff MacLellan.

The interchange sits between exits 5 and 6 of Highway 103. It was supposed to open in September but the addition of a trail crossing the connector delayed the project.

The province has said it would not go ahead with twinning that section of the highway until the interchange was built. The Transportation Department is now conducting public meetings across the province on twinning eight sections of 100-series highways to gauge whether drivers are willing to pay tolls, and how much.

"Obviously the 103 is an integral part in the eight-corridor study that we're embarking with the public consultations now," said MacLellan.

Several months behind schedule

In 2010, the Ingramport project was estimated to cost $10 million but that price tag grew to $17 million. 

Work on the project began in 2013 with the clearing of the forest area by the site. In 2014, work began on the subgrade (the foundation of the road under the gravel and asphalt) on the connector. The roundabout was built as well as an underpass.

The last leg of the project was paving the connector road, adding traffic lights and signs, as well as a trail bridge near the roundabout.

However, the project was delayed several months for the addition of the trail overpass to accommodate ATV riders, bicyclists, pedestrians and others who use the rails-to-trails corridor.