SAINTE-MARIE-SAINT-RAPHAËL (GNB) – The provincial government is investing more than $5.5 million in transportation infrastructure projects on the Acadian Peninsula this year under the 2017-18 capital budget.

“Your government is committed to making strategic investments to roads to ensure our transportation infrastructure remains viable for years to come,” said Transportation and Infrastructure Minister Bill Fraser. “Investment in infrastructure also spurs economic development and encourages private sector spending.”

The government has tendered several paving projects in the region, including 4.6 kilometres of Route 11, from Route 355 to Herberts Road; 3.4 kilometres of Route 150, from Frigault Road to Route 11; 2.1 kilometres of Pointe-Sauvage Road, from the Shippagan town limit to the Le Goulet village limit; and 1.6 kilometres of Route 313, from Gauvin Road to Barachois Road.

The first phase of an improvement project for the Lamèque-Shippagan bridge has also been tendered. The work will include repairs to the foundations and lift span.

Through the Municipal Designated Highway Program, the government is jointly funding the paving of 400 metres of J.D. Gauthier Boulevard with the Town of Shippagan and 1.1 kilometres of Principale Street with the Village of Le Goulet. Two kilometres of curb and gutter work on Pêcheur Nord Street in Lamèque and a culvert replacement on Route 305 in Sainte-Marie-Saint-Raphaël will be funded solely by the provincial government.

“Our government understands the importance of investing in communities,” said Fraser. “We are listening to our municipal partners and 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 this year. Funding for the 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.

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 invest strategically in its buildings, highways and bridges.

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.