Sept. 4, 2008
ST. STEPHEN (CNB) - Route 1 will be entirely upgraded to a four-lane highway by 2014. The provincial and federal governments announced today that the last stretch of Route 1 will be twinned and improved by that year at the latest.
"Completing the twinning of Route 1 has been a key infrastructure priority for our government and is important to New Brunswick's future self-sufficiency," said Premier Shawn Graham. "We are pleased that the federal government recognizes that eliminating this bottleneck will be a positive development for the economies of all four Atlantic Provinces."
Graham was joined at the announcement by Transportation Minister Denis Landry and Veterans Affairs Minister Greg Thompson.
"Completing the twinning of Route 1 will be a major safety benefit on one of our province's busiest highways," said Landry. "My department estimates the twinning of Route 1 will reduce fatal accidents in this area by 90 per cent."
Construction of the $275-million project includes 27.5 km of new four-lane highway on Route 1 between Murray Road and Pennfield as well as the rehabilitation of about 30 km of existing four-lane highway between Route 7 and Lepreau.
"Completion of this work will make it safer for drivers travelling along Route 1 and will also ensure more efficient movement of people and goods along this important trade corridor that connects Atlantic Canada with the northeastern United States," said Thompson. "The Government of Canada is investing through its Building Canada plan to help New Brunswick meet its infrastructure priorities."
The improvements also include major work on bridges at the Digdeguash River and the Magaguadavic River, as well as three new interchanges at the eastern junction of Route 127, the junction of Route 760 in Bethel and Manor Road in St. George.
In addition, grade separations are planned at the Frye Road Extension, Kerrs Ridge Road, Kelly Road and at Route 770 in St. George. The interchange at Route 7 will also be upgraded.
"Our government is pleased to support these necessary improvements through Building Canada," said Lawrence Cannon, minister of transport, infrastructure and communities. "The people of New Brunswick will benefit from reduced travel times, greater business productivity and better air quality that will result from lower greenhouse gas emissions."
The Government of Canada has agreed to share 50 per cent of the eligible costs with the Province of New Brunswick, up to a maximum of $137.5 million. Funding for this initiative comes from the federal government's $33-billion Building Canada infrastructure plan.
Federal financial support is conditional on the initiative meeting all applicable federal eligibility requirements under the Building Canada infrastructure plan, including the completion of a full federal due diligence review of the project, the successful completion of any environmental assessments required under the Canadian Environmental Assessment Act, and signature of necessary contribution agreements for the project.
For more information on the Building Canada infrastructure plan, visit www.buildingcanada.gc.ca .
MEDIA CONTACTS: Marie-André Bolduc, press secretary, Office of the Premier, 506-444-2286; Tracey Burkhardt, director of communications, Transportation Department, 506-453-5634; Catherine Loubier, director of communications, Office of the Minister of Transport, Infrastructure and Communities, 613-991-0700; media relations, Transport Canada, 613-993-0055.