FREDERICTON (GNB) – The provincial government announced today that $325.2 million will be set aside in the 2020-21 capital budget for the Department of Transportation and Infrastructure.

“Our government is continuing to take a responsible approach to spending,” said Transportation and Infrastructure Minister Bill Oliver. “Strategic and well-planned investments in our provincial roads and bridges can support improved economic outcomes. Proper maintenance can also save money over the long term and can be reinvested in further improvements to our transportation network.”

The department will allocate $137.6 million to its highway program, $44.4 million to its bridge program, $87.3 million for the federal-provincial program, $30.9 million for public works and infrastructure, $15 million for the Vehicle Management Agency and $10 million for the Municipal Designated Highway program.

“We will continue to look at opportunities to partner with the federal government on projects which align with our priorities for improving or maintaining existing infrastructure,” said Oliver. “We will do so by using the asset management system to take politics out of infrastructure spending.”

The department’s capital budget is included in the government’s $599.2 million capital budget that maintains continuity and builds upon the financial progress made over the past year.

The department will continue work on several projects, including;

  • Anderson Bridge;
  • Coles Island Bridges;
  • Petitcodiac River Bridge;
  • Centennial Bridge;
  • Route 11, Shediac River to Cocagne River; and
  • Route 11, Cocagne River to Little Bouctouche River.

Additionally, the government has committed $1 million this year to begin work on the engineering design of a replacement bridge in Shippagan-Lamèque and for work to assure the safety of the existing bridge, including cable replacements, while design work on the new bridge is being done.

Oliver said that while the government understands some difficult decisions needed to be made, the focus must be on maintaining the province’s current infrastructure.