$413.3 million to be invested in roads, bridges, building upgrades23 February 2016
FREDERICTON (GNB) – The Department of Transportation and Infrastructure will invest $413.3 million this fiscal year in road and bridge construction and rehabilitation. It will also invest in building upgrades to improve safety, sustain infrastructure, create jobs and produce long-term energy savings.
Transportation and Infrastructure Minister Roger Melanson made the announcement today while tabling the 2016-17 departmental estimates.
“We are working to invest strategically to create jobs and encourage more private sector investment in our economy,” Melanson said. “We know how important it is to have a safe and efficient transportation system to promote quality of life, trade and travel and economic activity in our province.”
The capital estimates for the department break down as follows:
- $75.9 million for bridges;
- $227.5 million for highways;
- $48.9 million for federal/provincial cost-sharing programs;
- $25 million for provincially designated highways in municipalities, the same level of funding as last year;
- $22 million for public works and infrastructure; and
- $14 million for the Vehicle Management Agency to support renewal of the province’s snow plow and school bus fleet.
For priority projects, Melanson said $23 million will be invested to continue work on Route 11 from Route 15 to Shediac River and $7.7 million to finish work on the Route 11 Caraquet bypass.
The replacement of the Kouchibouguacis River Bridge in Saint-Louis de Kent will be completed in 2016 for $4.4 million, and final work on the Benjamin River Bridge No. 1 near Charlo will wrap up for $2.7 million.
A two-year project, totalling about $6 million, will start in 2016-17 to replace Pokemouche River Bridge No. 4, which closed last November due to safety reasons.
The rehabilitation of the Centennial Bridge in Miramichi will continue in partnership with the federal government for a total investment of $12.2 million this fiscal year.
Upgrades to the Southwest Miramichi Bridge No. 4 at Doaktown ($800,000) and the Renous River Bridge No. 1 ($2.7 million) will continue along Route 8, which is an important connector to the Trans-Canada Highway.
A $4.8-million construction project will begin in Fredericton with the removal and replacement of the Regent Street underpass on Route 8. Grading will also be done on the structure approaches.
Infrastructure repairs will continue in southern sections of the province damaged during the September 2015 heavy rain storm.
Across the province, the department will be resurfacing more than 700 kilometres of chip seal roads and placing 233 kilometres of asphalt surface.
Resurfacing will include segments of Route 2, Route 15 and Route 16 in the Moncton region. New wildlife fencing will be installed on Route 11 at Caraquet and on Route 2 in the Charlie Lake area.
The new Deer Island ferry, the Abnaki II, will go into service by early summer 2016.
Capital improvements in public buildings will be undertaken in the coming year, including $10.8 million for the energy retrofit and renewable energy program to produce savings.
Major infrastructure investments in the province’s mobile radio communications system will continue to be made in 2016-17. This system is used across the province by first responders, enforcement officers, school bus drivers and plow operators. This $21.9-million investment is expected to increase safety for New Brunswickers.
“Our government’s planned capital estimates will enable us to maintain our highways and other infrastructure more effectively because they are based strategically on the principles of asset management and are the result of evidence-based assessment,” Melanson said.
The department’s ordinary estimates were also introduced for the coming fiscal year, totalling $292.9 million. This funding for operations includes:
- $69.1 million for winter maintenance;
- $59.4 million for summer highway, bridge and ferry maintenance;
- $61.1 million for buildings and facilities management;
- $65.9 million for grants in lieu of municipal property taxes;
- $19.7 million for the New Brunswick Highway Corporation;
- $16.1 million for corporate services, policy and strategic development and district administration; and
- $1.6 million for planning, design and engineering services for bridge and highway construction and property management.
Melanson said the department’s 2016-17 operating budget reflects the department’s ongoing commitment to process improvement and increased efficiency as a performance-based organization.