FREDERICTON (CNB) – The provincial government will invest $313.2 million in roads, bridges, ferries and equipment during the upcoming fiscal year.

Transportation and Infrastructure Minister Claude Williams made this announcement today while tabling the 2011-12 capital budget of the Department of Transportation.
 
"The Department of Transportation's capital budget reflects our government's priorities of sustainability and responsibility," said Williams. "We are focused on projects that will maintain New Brunswick's transportation infrastructure over the long term; and on strategic improvements that will give us the best return for our investment."

A total of $52 million will be invested in projects identified through the asset management system. This system is used to determine where the department should focus resources for bridge, pavement and chipseal rehabilitation.

"Our government will invest $26 million in paving arterial, collector and local roads, and an additional $26 million in chipsealing," said Williams. "It is always a challenging task to determine where our limited resources should go, and I am proud of the balance we have achieved among rural and urban areas in all regions of the province."
 
More than $81 million will be spent on various bridge and ferry construction and rehabilitation projects, including the Princess Margaret Bridge in Fredericton ($29 million), the Hugh John Flemming Bridge in Hartland ($8 million) and the Centennial Bridge in  Miramichi (more than $3.6 million).

The department will start building two new cable ferries for the Gagetown and Belleisle crossings in response to the provincial government's commitment to provide year-round service at these locations.

An additional $18.2 million has been set aside for the completion of the Grand Manan Adventure ferry and for the replacement of the White Head and Deer Island ferries.

The provincial government will invest $4 million in wildlife management. This will include the completion of fencing and the construction of a wildlife underpass along Route 2 from the Route 7 underpass to Burpee Brook and continuation of fencing along Route 2 in the area of Route 122 to Charlie Lake Road. A total of $300,000 is provided for proactive brush cutting in wildlife-prone areas.

"In addition to this work, our department is committed to doing the necessary engineering and field studies to assess other future potential sites for moose fencing and other wildlife mitigation strategies," said Williams.

Major projects that will receive funding through federal-provincial cost-shared agreements include:

●    Route 1 One Mile House interchange – $17.7 million;
●    Saint John Harbour Bridge rehabilitation – $17. 5 million;
●    Route 8 Nashwaak-Marysville bypass – $23.2 million; and
●    Route 7 Welsford bypass – $11 million.
    
A complete list of new highway construction projects is online.

LINK:

●    Department of Transportation: www.gnb.ca/transportation