FREDERICTON (GNB) – The Department of Transportation and Infrastructure’s budget is increasing by nearly $9 million this year to support the goal of maintaining the province’s existing infrastructure.

The department’s $330-million ordinary budget was tabled at the legislative assembly today. This represents an increase of 2.8 per cent compared to the previous year.

“This budget shows that we are prudent with taxpayers’ money by being strategic in the choices we make,” said Transportation and Infrastructure Minister Jill Green. “We are demonstrating that it is possible to live within our means by working together to reinvent the way we use our existing resources.”

The department will be investing:

  • $21.5 million in the summer highway maintenance program, which includes pothole repairs and road striping;
  • $2.2 million in the brush-cutting program;
  • $11.8 million in the bridge maintenance program, which represents an increase of about $1 million;
  • $69.5 million in the winter maintenance program, which includes snow removal and ice control for provincial roads and highways;
  • $64 million in governmental buildings, which includes facilities management and construction oversight; and
  • $9.5 million in the radio communications branch.

This is in addition to the department’s capital budget of $388 million which includes investments of $180.2 million in the highway program; $46.8 million in the bridge program; $70.7 million in the federal-provincial program; $62.3 million for public works and infrastructure; $18 million for the Vehicle Management Agency; and $10 million for the Municipal Designated Highway program.

“We are working with our federal partners to leverage funding to upgrade governmental buildings throughout the province and to carry out major transportation projects,” said Green. “Part of those upgrades will allow us to increase energy efficiency and to reduce our greenhouse gas emissions, which will help us meet our targets under New Brunswick’s Climate Change Action Plan.”