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Provincial Budget

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Backgrounder: Transportation and Public Works

The Department of Transportation and Public Works contributes to economic and community development through construction and maintenance of public infrastructure, property management, environmental and public safety.

Program Highlights 2004-2005
This year, the Department of Transportation and Public Works completed major capital projects at Reads Corner and along Route 2. Five bridges were replaced; 43 bridges received maintenance work; and more than 400 bridges were inspected.

More than $1.5 million was invested to upgrade the Mill River Waste Treatment Plant

An agreement was reached with the federal government to increase the definition of the National Highway System to include a portion of Route 2. This has made those sections of Route 2 eligible for funding from SHIP and other federal funding sources. 2005 will be the first-ever construction season where federal-provincial funding will be invested to improve the quality of Route 2.

Budget 2005 Highlights

The capital budget for highway and bridge reconstruction is increased by $3 million. Beginning this year, the capital budget for highway and bridge work will be approved in the fall session instead of the spring. This will allow five additional months for the department and the industry to finalize designs and undertake the tendering process. This will create efficiencies, remove risk and provide a better environment for construction and resource planning. All of this translates into a more efficient delivery system and improved infrastructure.

Needed investments will be made in 2005 in three major bridge replacements: the Midgell Bridge on Route 2 East in Kings County; Scales Pond Bridge on Route 109 in Freetown; and Goff's Bridge on Route 12 in Roxbury. Each will be tendered for a complete replacement.

Investment on the busiest arterial highways continues with this budget. Ten major highway reconstruction projects are planned on sections of Route 1 the Trans Canada Highway, Route 1A, Route 2 West, Route 3 and Route 4.

Due to recent storm damage, $1.2 million will be allocated to reconstruct Basin Head and $400,000 will be invested to protect and preserve the Panmure Island causeway.

Other investment by Public Works continues at the Davies Law Court, the Prince County Hospital, and the Mill River Waste Treatment facility.

Cost savings
Operational savings of $3 million have been identified and are reflected in changes to the budget.
The Department continues to deliver programs in a more efficient and cost effective manner. Snow removal operations will be streamlined to make better use of equipment and human resources. By investing in new equipment, better route design will occur and some inefficient routes will be eliminated. Wingmen will be phased out and converted to spare operators and the overall number will be reduced. This will provide higher skill levels, greater flexibility, and improved human resource planning.

Summer highway maintenance planning and execution will be delivered more efficiently. Equipment rental requirements will be reduced by 10 per cent.

Leased accommodations will be reduced through improved organizational planning and co- location across the department. A number of expired leases will not be renewed.

The fee charged to insurance companies for driver abstracts will increase by $5. This increase is the first one in ten years.

Jeff Himelman
Department of Transportation and Public Works
902 368 5112
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