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$24.1 million highway project in Digby County opened to traffic

Work on the new section of Highway 101 in DIgby County was nearing completion when this photo was taken. The new section of highway has since been opened.
Work on the new section of Highway 101 in DIgby County was nearing completion when this photo was taken. The new section of highway has since been opened. - Tina Comeau photo
DIGBY, N.S. —

A four-kilometre stretch of the Highway 101 in Digby County is now controlled access after the completion of a $24.1 million improvement project.  
The controlled access highway from Digby/Conway to Marshalltown was officially opened on Aug 28.
“Improvements to this highway will help families, residents and visitors reach their destinations more safely and efficiently, said Environment Minister Gordon Wilson, on behalf of Lloyd Hines, Minister of Transportation and Infrastructure Renewal (TIR) in a press release. Wilson is also the MLA for Clare-Digby. 
"This is an important step in continuing the controlled access highway between Digby and Weymouth," he said.
The project includes four kilometres of controlled access highway from Exit 26 to Marshalltown, a new interchange/roundabout into Conway and Digby and a new multi-trail bridge over the highway in Conway that opened in September 2018.
“I am very pleased to see the first phase of the completion of Highway 101 from Exit 26 to Weymouth North,” said Jimmy MacAlpine, Warden for Municipality of the District of Digby. “It is very important to the residents to see the completion of this highway from a safety perspective and look forward to seeing phase two started in the near future.”
Brian Taylor, spokesman for the provincial Department of Transportation and Infrastructure Renewal said TIR staff are looking at future upgrades for Highway 101 to Weymouth in the longer term. 
“This work is still in the preliminary planning stage,” he said. “Once that is complete, the department will consider it in future capital planning, which takes into account the overall infrastructure needs across the province. It is still too early to provide specific details, including timelines and cost estimates, at this point.”
 The section of Highway 101 that has been upgraded was first announced in October 2014. The section of highway – Route 1 – between Weymouth and Digby is highly residential with posted speed limits of 80 and 90 kilometres an hour. Local residents say many motorists, however, treat the section the same as the controlled access portion of Highway 101 and travel through at speeds at 100 kilometres and hour or faster.
The province contributed $16.5 million to the project with the federal government chipping in $7.6 million. The multi-use bridge is part of the Rails to Trails network.

RELATED: AS REPORTED IN JULY: Exit to Digby gets a roundabout

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