Millions earmarked for Colchester County
TRURO - A transportation project discussed for more than a decade has been announced to improve safety for motorists just outside Truro.
The federal and provincial governments have committed $9 million, through the Atlantic Gateway initiative, to create a high-speed interchange outside Onslow where highways 102 and 104 meet.
"It will make the interchange ... much more safer and traffic won't bottleneck like it does today," Transportation and Infrastructure Renewal Minister Brooke Taylor told the Truro Daily News on Thursday.
"Most likely there will be overpasses constructed that would alleviate the current bottleneck and allow the traffic to flow freely."
The highways are the two busiest roads in the province. Department officials said 20,000 vehicles pass through the interchange daily. Infrastructure was added at the site when it was built but the project was never completed.
"When the twinning took place about 12 years ago this was put in place and since that time it's been considered," said spokesman Cathy MacIsaac.
The interchange is located in Colchester North MLA Karen Casey's riding. She said the high-speed interchange is what is needed to facilitate the flow of traffic.
"If there is an interchange that's going to make the highway safer, great, that's wonderful. If it makes it a little bit faster that's a bonus," said Truckers Association of Nova Scotia president Bill Dowe. He has driven through the interchange many times and said improvements would be appreciated by truckers, particularly those heading towards New Brunswick from Highway 102.
"It is a very sharp turn at the end," Dowe said. "It does mean a considerable amount of slowing down to navigate that turn and then get back up to speed to get onto the 104."
Also on Thursday the governments announced projects that will be funded through the stimulus fund. A number of the projects will be in Colchester County, including the repaving of College Road in Bible Hill from Main Street to Village Line.
"College Road has been in a mess for the last couple of years and I am just delighted that it's going to be repaved and fixed up," said village chairwoman Sharon McLean.
She said when the road was repaved a few years ago, following extension of the Truro Water Utility, there were irregularities.
"Everyone I meet say 'Oh, I wish College Road will get repaved' so this is very good news for the village," McLean said.
There is also work in Debert, Truro Heights, Lower Economy, Wentworth and Maitland.
Taylor said because the projects are cost-shared with the federal government it means more projects will be done this year. But he said it is all contingent on the provincial budget being passed.