Roads & Paving
Newfoundland & Labrador government announces record roads funding
By Carey Fredericks
The Honourable Dianne Whalen, Minister of Transportation and Works recently announced that the Government of Newfoundland & Labrador will invest $182 million in road improvements, the largest such funding in the province’s history.
The Honourable Dianne Whalen, Minister of Transportation and Works recently announced that the Government of Newfoundland & Labrador will invest $182 million in road improvements, the largest such funding in the province’s history. Minister Whalen also announced, that included in the $182 million, a record $73 million is slated for the 2008-09 Provincial Roads Improvement Program. That amount is 10 per cent more than the total for last year’s Provincial Roads Improvement Program, which was then an all-time high.
"I’m happy to say this is the largest roads improvement and construction program in the history of the province," said Minister Whalen. "Premier Williams has made infrastructure improvement a top priority for this government. Our government is in the third year of a six-year infrastructure strategy, worth over $2 billion, and our unprecedented investment in our transportation network and early approval of the Provincial Roads Improvement Program is a key part of this plan. This significant funding will not only make our roads smoother and safer, it will impact our economy and tourism industry," concluded Minister Whalen.
Among the projects slated for the $73 million 2008-09 Provincial Roads Improvement Program is $14 million for bridge construction and rehabilitation and $6 million for wheel rutting on the Trans Canada Highway. Specific roads project announcements will commence in the coming weeks.
Dan Spracklin, president of the Newfoundland and Labrador Road Builders/Heavy Civil Association, said the announcement is great news. "We love seeing this increased focus on infrastructure, improving roads and maintaining what we have," said Spracklin. "Obviously, Premier Williams acknowledges the need for greater funding for our roads and the early announcement of the program allows us to plan our construction season in advance which significantly impacts how we do business."
Included in the $182 million overall total in provincial road funding this year are $17 million for construction of Phase III of the Trans Labrador Highway, $5 million in carry-over from widening and hard-surfacing of Phase I of the Trans Labrador Highway last summer and $3 million in carry over from the 2007-08 Provincial Roads Improvement Program. The provincial and gederal Government will also cost-share, on a 50-50 basis, $40 million for hard-surfacing of Phase I of the Trans Labrador Highway, $7 million for construction of the Torbay By-Pass, $3.5 million for Conception Bay South (CBS) By-Pass Road Extension, in addition to $33.8 million worth of National Highway System projects, which the provincial government will be advancing to the federal government for consideration under the recently-signed Infrastructure Framework Agreement.