DRUMMOND (GNB) – The provincial government will invest more than $15 million in transportation infrastructure projects in the Grand Falls region this year, as part of its 2018-19 capital budget.

“Strategic investments in transportation infrastructure help stimulate the economy and create jobs for New Brunswickers,” said Premier Brian Gallant. “As part of our multi-year economic growth plan, we are focusing on creating the right environment for job creation and economic development to occur.”

Projects in the Grand Falls region this year include repairing the Saint-Léonard/Van Buren International Bridge, paving on sections of Route 17 and Route 108 and chip seal on sections of Back California Road, Diamond Road, Lane Road, LeBel Road, Ouellette Road, Third Tier Road and Violette Station Road.

“These projects will greatly improve travel in this region and create employment opportunities for local residents,” said Victoria-La Vallee MLA Chuck Chiasson. “I am proud to be part of a government that recognizes the importance of rural roads.”

Chiasson attended for Transportation and Infrastructure Minister Bill Fraser.

Under the Municipal Designated Highway Program, the provincial government will fund the paving of a 1.1 kilometre section of Route 108 in Drummond, a 500-metre section of Route 17 in Saint-Léonard and a one kilometre section of Route 255 in Saint-André. In Grand Falls, the province will share the cost of paving a 1.2 kilometre section of Tobique Road, along with the installation of storm sewer, curb and gutters, with the municipality.

The program allows municipalities to apply for funding assistance for capital upgrade projects. 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.

The Department of Transportation and Infrastructure’s $688.2 million capital budget reflects the government’s priority of investing strategically in its buildings, highways and bridges. Strategic investments in infrastructure are a key component of the multi-year New Brunswick Economic Growth Plan, the province’s framework for growing the economy and creating jobs.