Federal, provincial funds for extension of Hwy. 101 at Digby

John DeMings
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Filling in the missing link of limited access highway

DIGBY - For Clare Digby MLA Gordon Wilson, today “was probably my best day” since being elected to the Nova Scotia Legislature.

Wilson and West Nova MP Greg Kerr had just announced the provincial and federal governments will share the cost of continuing Hwy. 101 as a controlled access highway from Digby to Marshalltown.

The first phase, with a cost that could reach $17.6 million according to Wilson, will see the 100-Series limited access highway extended from Digby for about four kilometres. Work will begin perhaps late next year.

It will be the first of as many as four phases of highway construction to end the ‘missing link’ between Digby and Weymouth. The existing two-lane section of highway is the only non-limited access portion Hwy. 101 between Yarmouth and Lower Sackville.

Replacing the whole link is a $130 million project, said Wilson, but both he and Kerr were confident that once the project was underway with the first four-kilometre section, the rest would follow.

“Let’s get it started,” said Wilson, whose career in municipal administration and then in provincial politics has frequently concentrated on the unfinished 101.

“This is the first step in continuing the controlled access highway between Digby and Weymouth,” said Wilson. “The province is completing detailed surveys in the area and determining access and right-of-way requirements.”

The announcement was welcomed this afternoon in the Royal Canadian Legion by local municipal leaders, members of the Highway 101 Task Force, and a number of people who live along the old Hwy. 1.

Heather Andrews of Barton, who was in the audience with her husband, had heard a highways announcement was imminent, and was expecting good news.

“Usually, when you get two or three levels of government making an announcement, it is going to be good,” she said.

Although this first section of highway won’t reach her home, she was enthusiastic about prospects now, and plans to be around when the 100-Series highway is finally completed.

Usually, when you get two or three levels of government making an announcement, it is going to be good Hwy. 1 resident Heather Andrews of Barton

“Hwy. 101 is a priority now for both governments,” said Kerr. “Once it is started, there will be a realization that it has to be completed.”

Wilson said the four-kilometre section, which will curve through land to the north of the existing highway, has some construction problems with overburden and water.

As well, Seely Brook, will likely need a $2 million bridge, said a member of the Transportation and Infrastructure Renewal department.

Nova Scotia will be responsible for $9.2 million of construction costs, while the federal government, under its New Building Canada Plan, is conditionally setting aside up to $7.5 million.

The federal funding is conditional on the project meeting applicable eligibility requirements with respect to the New Building Canada Fund and the signing of a contribution agreement.

Organizations: Royal Canadian Legion, Infrastructure Renewal department, New Building Canada Fund

Geographic location: Digby, Weymouth, Marshalltown Yarmouth Lower Sackville Nova Scotia

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Recent comments

  • skyhawk53
    November 08, 2014 - 13:59

    The complaints and protests come about 15 or 20 years too late. This project has been on the books for years. Most local residents have been waiting patiently.

  • Haydan Titus
    November 07, 2014 - 09:15

    Biggest waste of money I have ever seen. What does this project accomplish? Saving people a few minutes in their commute, and then the big one, encouraging people to skip right on through small town Nova Scotia and ruining our local economy (or what's left of it). If it's about safety, maybe the the roads could be monitered more closely for speeders. If it's about sleep, well you should have thought about that before you bought a house next to the highway. Why doest the 100 million dollars go towards fixing our existing infrastructure or maybe even get some dredging done at our wharves in the province to help out our #1 industry in the province. I don't want to hear any more complaining from our government about small town NS leaving for out west.

  • kevin
    November 01, 2014 - 21:04

    Agree with much of your statements. It will likely result in at least one service station closing as well as one or two convenience stores and possibly a restaurant and maybe a motel.

  • Christian Thibaudeau
    November 01, 2014 - 07:46

    Having a high speed highway loop between Digby and Weymouth will negatively impact the bit that is left of our local economy. We should seek for ways to use that $100+ millions to be spent on economic development instead of using of moving around piles of rock and dirt that will benefit companies from away anyway. In the short term it looks good, in the long term, the benefits for our region are non significant and in addition, we will encourage people to drive through our area without stopping. Some will bring safety as an argument but the reality is that in the past decade or more, there has been more serious accidents and way more fatalities on the Meteghan and Bridgetown corridors of the 101 hwy than on the Digby/Weymouth one. Most, if not all of the capital investment for this project will come from Federal and Provincial transfers, one has to reflect on the the concept that we might be begging for money that will negatively impact us in the long run. Hopefully, I am wrong but time will tell. The push for an extension to the 101 highway between Digby and Weymouth is more politically driven than being economically sound. This is a luxury we cannot afford.

    • Daniel T.
      November 05, 2014 - 18:55

      Don't understand why people yelling against something already - what was promised for years for that few thousand people whom put up with this craziness for years & years. People who lives at the area between Digby and Weymouth has hell of a time to deal with the speeding trucks, 14 wheelers etc. So many pets and wild life got killed because drivers doesn't honor speed limit at this 4 km! Nor care about people who want to sleep at 2am, not worried about that a truck would flew in the window from the icey road. Assume who is yelling the louder here, has some business to loose, and not the wonderful thoughtful heart made him write down, yelled out his amazing idea where the municipality should spend the money what was purposely given to this construction! Because it's federal found, he not even have to worry about it, that will comes out from his pocket! So chill dear Pal, let the road construction begin finally! You and your family will used the new hwy, too-by then you won't even remember that you were against it!