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Bridge being built over Highway 101 to connect Digby rail-bed trail

A view from where a new ATV bridge will be constructed this winter by Transportation and Infrastructure Renewal. JAMES MALLORY
A view from where a new ATV bridge will be constructed this winter by Transportation and Infrastructure Renewal. JAMES MALLORY

Cost of project is $1.9-million and is expected to be finished in March

DIGBY, N.S. - The Department of Transportation and Infrastructure Renewal (TIR) is constructing a bridge to connect an ATV rail-bed trail just west of Exit 26 in Digby.

“We are installing a three span steel arch bridge, similar to the trail bridge installed at Ingramport,” said TIR official Brian Taylor in an email. “The contractor, Mid Valley Construction, plans to start in the next week or two. The project is expected to be completed sometime in spring 2018 at a cost of approximately $1,900,000.”

The bridge is a most welcome addition to the trail because in the past, ATVers have had to illegally cross the highway to get from one end of the trail to the other. Once the bridge is operational, ATVers, cyclists and pedestrians will be able to access the entire trail safely.

Taylor said TIR had meetings with the local trails groups, representatives from the Department of Natural Resources, and the Town of Digby to discuss connectivity of the existing trail.

“It was recognized during the planning process for the highway project that the trail connectivity should be maintained.”

Taylor added that road safety is the department's top priority.

“Nova Scotia has wonderful trails that allow users to explore the province and this project creates safe passage for ATV users to cross Trunk 1 and the expanded section of the 101,” he said through email.

The only catch while the work is being done is that the trail will be closed to the public within the limits of the project.

Barry Barnet, executive director of the ATV Association of Nova Scotia, said he has been notified by TIR that the trail will be closed during construction. He said the closure is expected to start on Dec. 18.

“We understand this work is anticipated to be completed in March 2018,” said Barnet. “The trail will be blocked off from the paved road in Jordantown to the dirt road on the Upper Cross Road. We will post and share additional information as we receive it.”

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