LAC BAKER (GNB) – The provincial government will fund a paving project in the village of Lac Baker this year under the Municipal Designated Highway Program.

“Modern infrastructure is essential for growing key industries like tourism,” said Economic Development Minister Francine Landry. “Route 120 is an important access point for travellers visiting New Brunswick and provides tourists with their first impression of our province. We want that first impression to be a good one.”

Landry spoke on behalf of Transportation and Infrastructure Minister Bill Fraser.

The project includes 2.5 kilometres of paving along Route 120, between de I’Île Road and the Quebec boundary.

“Projects like this show that we are listening to New Brunswickers,” said Landry. “We are making the investments necessary to keep the economy growing and we are getting things done.”

Under the program, municipalities apply for funding assistance for capital upgrade projects. The government received funding requests valued at more than $210 million through the program in 2016.

“Tourism is an important part of our local economy, and this project will help grow the industry in our community,” said Lac Baker Mayor Louis Chouinard.

The province’s $775.6-million capital budget, which includes the Department of Transportation and Infrastructure’s capital budget of $638.5 million, reflects the government’s priority to support its buildings, highways and bridges.

Funding for the Municipal Designated Highway Program has more than doubled since the 2014-15 fiscal year, increasing to $25 million in 2015. It has remained at that level as part of a government commitment to sustain funding for municipalities.

Strategic investments in infrastructure are a key component of the New Brunswick Economic Growth Plan, the government’s framework for growing the economy and creating jobs.