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April 7, 2006
(Transportation and Works)

Investing in Infrastructure: Humber Valley roads will be improved

Trevor Taylor, Minister of Transportation and Works, today announced an investment of $1.1 million to improve roads in Humber Valley, part of government�s ongoing initiatives to act on its pledge to modernize infrastructure and stimulate the economy in rural Newfoundland and Labrador.

Funding for the projects is made available under the Provincial Roads Improvement Program and is part of the $300 million earmarked for infrastructure investment this year, of which $171 million will be invested in transportation infrastructure. The total amount is also the first installment of a six-year expenditure of more than $2 billion for infrastructure modernization that will generate more than 4,500 full-time equivalent jobs.

"Addressing the province�s infrastructure deficit is just one component of our strategy to stimulate job creation and the economy, particularly in rural areas," said Minister Taylor. "In addition to improving transportation infrastructure, this road work in Humber Valley will create much-needed employment in the region."

Projects for Humber Valley include the repair of wheel-rutting on a section of the Trans-Canada Highway from Birchy Narrows Bridge towards Springdale and the resurfacing of a section of Route 420 from the T.C.H. intersection towards Jackson's Arm and a section of road in Woody Point.

Also as part of the Canadian Strategic Infrastructure Fund, construction will continue on the Junction Brook Bridge. This project, valued at $5 million is cost-shared between the provincial and federal governments.

Kathy Goudie, MHA for Humber Valley, welcomed government's commitment. "I am thrilled with this year's announcement for road work in my district," said Ms. Goudie. "These projects will no doubt be of tremendous benefit to the residents and various industries in the White Bay and Bonne Bay regions, by increasing safety for the traveling public and positively impacting tourism in the area."

As part of the Provincial Roads Improvement Program, government pre-committed $60 million in the 2006-07 Budget, which includes $48.4 million in new money and $11.6 million carried over from the previous construction season.

The Provincial Roads Improvement Program has doubled in value from $30 million in 2004-05 to $60 million in 2006-07.

This is the earliest the department has received budget approval in decades, which allows the tendering and construction processes to begin much sooner.

Media contact: David Salter, Communications, (709) 729-3015, 691-3577

2006 04 07                             3:00 p.m.

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