Nova Scotia

Highway twinning plan for 100-series highways to be released soon

A plan to twin eight stretches of 100-series highways in Nova Scotia will be released to the public in the next several weeks, Nova Scotia Transport Minister Geoff MacLellan said Thursday.

Public consultation to begin this summer, transportation minister says

Transportation Minister Geoff MacLellan says consultations will start this summer to hear what Nova Scotians think of the government's plans to twin stretches of the province's 100-series highways. (Robert Doublett/CBC)

A plan to twin eight stretches of 100-series highways in Nova Scotia will be released to the public in the next several weeks, provincial Transportation Minister Geoff MacLellan said Thursday.

MacLellan said the plan, which will include information on highway tolls, is in its final draft stages. The upgrades would cost hundreds of millions of dollars but could save dozens of lives.

The plan will likely be released on social media as well as the usual government channels, giving people time to review it before the public consultations begin, MacLellan said.

"We don't want this to linger," he said. "This isn't something that's going to take a year or years."

Public consultations will start by the end of the summer at the latest, he said.

"This is about getting to the doorsteps of Nova Scotians, having them see exactly what we see, in the same format and in an understandable breakdown. And then let the people who put us here decide what we do next."

Tolls?

The province hired an engineering and environmental consulting firm, CBCL Limited, at a cost of about $900,000 to study eight sections of the 100-series highways, including whether upgrades could be paid for with tolls.

The stretches that were studied:

  • Highway 101 - Three Mile Plains to Falmouth — 9.5 km.
  • Highway 101 - Hortonville to Coldbrook — 24.7 km.
  • Highway 103 - Exit 5 at Tantallon to Exit 12 Bridgewater — 71 km.
  • Highway 104 - Sutherlands River to Antigonish — 37.8 km.
  • Highway 104 - Taylors Road to Aulds Cove — 38.4 km.
  • Highway 104 - Port Hastings to Port Hawkesbury — 6.75 km.
  • Highway 104 - St. Peter's to Sydney — 80 km.
  • Highway 107 - Porters Lake to Duke Street, Bedford — 33 km.

In total, 301.2 kilometres were under review.

The Transportation Department has said it could cost between $240 million and $250 million to twin the highway between Sutherlands River and Antigonish alone.

A 35-year-old woman was killed on that highway on Monday, the 15th person to die since 2009 on the 37.8-kilometre stretch.

The provincial government conducted a province-wide tolling feasibility study for eight parts of Nova Scotia's 100-series highways. The results are to be unveiled in the next few weeks. (Department of Transportation and Infrastructure Renewal)

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