Banner Year for Road Construction
Works Services and Transportation Minister Lloyd Matthews stated 1998 could be the busiest year for road and highway construction ever undertaken by government. The minister made the statement today following the announcement yesterday of 17 federal/provincial highway improvement projects totalling approximately $54 million. "With yesterday's announcement, approximately $92 million is now earmarked for new and carry over highway improvement projects throughout the province this year," said Mr. Matthews. This includes the $36 million already allocated for the construction of the Trans Labrador Highway. "The provincial road improvement program, to be announced during the provincial budget, could potentially make this the largest and most productive year for highway construction ever, with expenditures likely to exceed $100 million," said the minister.
Of the projects announced yesterday, the paving of the Outer Ring Road, specifically from the Trans Canada Highway towards Portugal Cove Road, including overpass structures at Thorburn Road, Bifurcation Road and Groves Road, is a particularly significant announcement. "Completion of the Outer Ring Road is a priority for government and for drivers to and from St. John's. The new road will help alleviate traffic congestion in busy areas such as Kenmount Road and the Prince Philip Parkway. When complete, the Outer Ring Road will improve the highway system for commuters in and around the St. John's region," said the minister.
Mr. Matthews added that work on all highway improvement projects will begin as quickly as possible. "An early start in the tendering process will enable contractors to start construction early in the spring. Travellers throughout our province will have access to an improved highway system this year."
Funding for these highway improvement projects is provided under the Newfoundland Transportation Initiative, a 15 year federal/provincial agreement signed in 1988 and due to expire in 2003. Government will be announcing additional road construction and improvement projects later this year as part of the provincial budget.
Contact: Jill Sooley, (709) 729-4062.