June 10, 1004
(Transportation and Works)


Minister announces details of 2004 Provincial Roads Improvement Program

Tom Rideout, Minister of Transportation and Works, today announced that the 2004 Provincial Roads Improvement Program has been approved. Minister Rideout said, "This year’s program provides funding for upgrading and improving the provincial highway network, including resurfacing of major trunk roads, community access roads and local roads, as well as routine maintenance on the Trans Canada Highway. It provides funds for rehabilitation and replacement of bridges and culverts. Culvert replacement will be important in the prevention of washouts and flooding."

"The 2004-05 provincial budget allocated $30 million for the improvement and construction of provincial roads, a $7 million increase over the previous year," said Minister Rideout. "This increase in funding for the capital roads program demonstrates this government’s commitment to providing a safe and reliable transportation network within our province.

"This roads program also delivers on government’s commitment to preventative maintenance, as outlined in the 2004 Speech from the Throne. It does this by focusing on the maintenance and upgrading of highways and secondary roads throughout the province." Preventative maintenance on existing infrastructure is far less costly than outright replacement or extensive repairs in the future. This is supported by the National Research Council which had indicated that replacement costs are actually 10 times greater than preventative maintenance costs.

Specific projects to be completed in 2004 will be announced over the next several days. Projects under this program will begin to go to tender as early as next week. "The department recognizes that these projects are very important to the people of our province and the road building industry," said Minister Rideout.

The minister reaffirmed government’s commitment to providing high-quality roads infrastructure to the people of Newfoundland and Labrador. "The quality of roads within the province is a priority as government moves forward in developing a comprehensive infrastructure strategy," said Minister Rideout.

Media contact: Lori Lee Oates, Communications (709) 729-3015

2004 06 10                                          4:35 p.m.

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