Oct. 23, 2009
WELSFORD (CNB) - The start of construction for the 10.7-kilometre Route 7 bypass between Welsford and Nerepis was marked today by Energy Minister Jack Keir, Tourism and Parks Minister Stuart Jamieson, Veterans Affairs Minister Greg Thompson, and Saint John MP Rodney Weston.
"As part of our government's plan for a stronger economy, we are injecting major dollars into capital projects such as the Welsford bypass, that help put people to work," said Keir. "Options for this route have been discussed for more than 30 years, and to see construction underway is a major milestone. Motorists will enjoy a safer and more efficient route between Saint John and Fredericton."
Keir attended on behalf of Transportation Minister Denis Landry.
"Our government is committed to creating jobs and stimulating our economy through projects that will bring both immediate and long-term benefits," said Thompson. "This addition to the Welsford bypass will relieve traffic congestion and improve safety for all motorists around Welsford. We are proud to work with our provincial colleagues to create a network of modern highways across New Brunswick and throughout Canada."
The total cost for construction of the bypass, which includes $29.2 million for Phase 1, is estimated at $64.8 million. The governments of Canada and New Brunswick, under the Canada Strategic Infrastructure Fund, jointly funded Phase 1. The federal contribution for this first phase is $13.5 million.
New Brunswick has awarded several contracts to advance Phase 1. Debly Enterprises Ltd. of Saint John was the successful bidder on a $5-million contract for 2.1 kilometres of grading work from Mount Douglas to Route 101. St. Isidore Asphalte ltée, the successful bidder for a contract valued at over $7.7 million, has started a 2.5-kilometre grading project that runs from the transmission line to the county line area. In addition, three contracts totalling $164,000 were awarded earlier this year to Debly Forest Services Ltd., W & R Gillespie Ltd. and Matt Harris & Son Ltd., for clearing work that has been completed on 9.6 kilometres.
The Welsford area is the only segment of Route 7 that has not been extensively upgraded or bypassed by a new highway alignment. It is scheduled to be complete in 2012.
MEDIA CONTACTS: Andrew Holland, director of communications, Department of Transportation, 506-453-5634; Chris Day, press secretary, Office of Canada's Transport, Infrastructure and Communities Minister, 613-991-0700; Media Relations, Transport Canada, 613-993-0055.