HALIFAX â€“ The 2013-14 edition of the 5-Year Highway Improvement Plan maps out 140 road and bridge projects that will lead to thousands of jobs, millions of dollars to the economy and safer and better travel for Nova Scotians.
Since 2009, the province has resurfaced more than 2,500 kilometres of paved road and invested more than $1.1 billion in highway capital construction.
"When we launched the plan in 2010, it was the first time Nova Scotians could look ahead to road improvements," said Maurice Smith, Minister of Transportation and Infrastructure Renewal, in a news release.
"Since then, we have been working to get the plan together earlier, to be more accountable to Nova Scotians about where tax dollars will go in the next year and give private companies more time to prepare for tenders."
Smith said increased competition across the province and investments in innovations, such as a new mobile asphalt plant and greater use of pavement preservation techniques, have already resulted in significant savings and will continue to save taxpayer dollars in the long run. This will also allow some capital projects to start ahead of schedule.
The plan allows Nova Scotians to learn about major construction projects, repaving, major bridge replacements and maintenance and infrastructure work year by year. It outlines ways to make funding go further, types of roads and how they are prioritized, and a project schedule for the next five years.
The province paved or resurfaced more than 600 kilometres during 2012-13, 100 kilometres more than planned. The 2013-14 plan aims to do 700 kilometres of resurfacing.
The total highway capital budget for 2013-14 is $245.8 million. Additional operational funding for highway maintenance will be made available as part of the 2013-14 budget.
The 2013-14 5-year Highway Improvement Plan is online at http://gov.ns.ca/tran/highways/5yearplan .