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Construction begins on Route 1 gateway project


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July 23, 2010, St. George, N.B. – Construction has begun on the Route 1
gateway project – the largest financial highway undertaking in New
Brunswick history.

July 23, 2010, St. George, N.B. – Construction has begun on the Route 1 gateway project – the largest financial highway undertaking in New Brunswick history.

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Transportation Minister Denis Landry, New Brunswick Southwest MP Greg Thompson and Harry Varjabedian, project manager, Dexter Construction Co. Ltd., participated in a groundbreaking ceremony in St. George.

"As stated in the Charter for Change, the provincial government promised to complete Route 1 as a four-lane highway," said Landry. "Today, we are seeing this promise through. It is exciting to see the start of construction on the final 55 km of Route 1 to be twinned. This new infrastructure between Waweig and Lepreau, along with other major upgrades, will help create 900 new jobs and, more importantly, will save lives and improve the flow of people and goods along this key trade corridor between Atlantic Canada and New England."

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The provincial government is investing $370 million, while the federal government is contributing $210 million through various federal-provincial highway agreements.

"Our government is pleased to join the Government of New Brunswick in breaking ground for this important project," said Thompson. "Route 1 is a key infrastructure priority for us, and this work will help to save lives, reduce injuries and improve access and traffic flow at New Brunswick's key land border crossing with the United States."

As announced in June 2009, the $580-million public-private partnership also includes:

  • the erection of 104 km of wildlife fencing as new twinned highway sections are completed;
  • the reconfiguration of the Route 1/Route 7 and Route 1/Route 111 interchanges;
  • the widening of the MacKay Highway to six lanes from four. It has daily traffic volumes of 33,000 vehicles;
  • major upgrades at the Digdeguash River, Magaguadavic River, Letang River, Pocologan River, New River and Lepreau River crossings; and
  • the installation of new guardrail systems on a number of bridges and overpasses along the Route 1 corridor.

Under the agreement signed on April 8, Transfield Dexter Gateway Services Ltd. will be responsible for the operation, maintenance and rehabilitation of 235 km between St. Stephen and River Glade, excluding the Saint John Harbour Bridge, until 2040. Once construction is complete in 2013, the provincial government will pay an annual fee of $19.8 million, adjusted for inflation, to the company.