Transportation and Works
January 17, 2007

$150 Million Targeted for Province’s Roads

The Williams Government continues its aggressive approach to highway revitalization by announcing it intends to invest $150 million to improve provincial roads this year.

The Honourable John Hickey, Minister of Transportation and Works, confirmed today the province will once again invest $60 million in the 2007-08 budget for the Provincial Roads Improvement Program and plans to inject a further $90 million for various roads projects under other programs.

“This is a great day for motorists who drive the roads of Newfoundland and Labrador,” said Minister Hickey. “This government’s unprecedented commitment to province’s highways cannot be denied.”

The Provincial Roads Improvement Program has doubled in value from $30 million in 2004-05 to $60 million in 2006-07 and will be $60 million again in 2007-08.

Among the projects slated for the 2007-08 Provincial Roads Improvement Program is approximately $5 million to address wheel-rutting on the Trans-Canada Highway, and approximately $4.5 million for bridge repair and replacement. The announcement of specific roads projects will commence in the coming weeks.

“This significant funding clearly indicates government is committed to providing the best transportation network possible for all sectors of society,” said Minister Hickey.

“This funding is an investment in our economy. It impacts the tourism and trucking industries, to name a few, and is obviously of great benefit to local motorists as well, who will encounter smoother, safer roads in the near future.”

Of course, the early announcement of the Roads Improvement Program will allow the tendering process and construction to begin earlier than in past years. Last year, government pre-approved roads funding earlier than usual which was embraced by the industry.

“I’m very happy government has once again committed to funding early in the year,” said Dan Spracklin, president of the Newfoundland and Labrador Road Builders and Heavy Equipment Association. “The early tendering worked out very well last year with very little carry-over.”

In fact, only around two per cent of the anticipated work was carried over in this current fiscal year.

“This government will spend over $59 million of the $60 million roads improvement funds in this current fiscal year and we fully expect to spend the entire amount in the next fiscal year as well,” said Minister Hickey.

In addition to the $60 million Roads Improvement Program, $25 million will be invested for repairs to sections of the Trans-Canada Highway in the central and west coast regions of the province. Funding will come from the Canada Strategic Infrastructure Fund (C-SIF) and will be cost-shared between the provincial and federal governments.

Other road improvement plans include:

  • $17 million for ongoing construction of Phase III of the Trans-Labrador Highway;
  • $15 million to commence hard-surfacing of Phase I of the Trans-Labrador Highway – subject to cost-sharing with the federal government;
  • $15 million for summer maintenance, including line-painting, pothole patching and guide rail replacement;
  • $10 million to start the Torbay By-Pass and extend the Team Gushue Highway, subject to federal government cost-sharing;
  • $8 million for land acquisition for road right-of-ways.


Media contact:
David Salter
Director of Communications
Department of Transportation and Works
709-729-3015, 691-3577

2007 01 17                             10:35 a.m.

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