News Release Archive


Construction on the Highway 104 Western Alignment is almost half
finished, just seven months into the project.

It is on schedule to open in November 1997 thanks to more than
400 workers on site since construction began on April 1, 1996,
Transportation and Public Works Minister Don Downe said today.

He said the project is providing opportunities for local people
and businesses. The minister toured the site today.

"This highway is a corridor of opportunity in many ways. It's
bringing jobs to local contractors and skilled tradespeople," Mr.
Downe said. "Once the highway is constructed, there will be more
opportunities for economic diversification in the region as the
private sector moves in with increased business activity along
the highway."

Keeping construction on target has been a challenge for workers
through recent bouts of wind and rain experienced by the
province. "We've been impressed with the high quality of work and
commitment to getting the job done in spite of the
record-breaking rainfall we've had this past September," said Lee
Rankin, president of the Highway 104 Western Alignment

The first of the highway's 23 structures has been completed at
Wentworth Collingwood Road and the remainder are at various
stages of construction. To date, about 400 people have provided
construction, manufacturing and technical services. In addition,
37 local owner-operated trucks from Cumberland and Colchester
counties are currently working on the project.

Subcontracts in engineering, design and construction worth $89
million, have been awarded, with most going to regional firms. 
In addition, $31 million has been committed to third party
suppliers, 95 per cent of which are Maritime-owned and operated,
the minister said.

He said local communities are benefitting from the sale of
materials and other services necessary for construction. Other
businesses are also benefiting from economic spin-offs associated
with the construction work.

The construction of the Highway 104 Western Alignment is the
first major public-private partnership undertaken by the
Government of Nova Scotia. Running between Masstown and Thomson
Station, the project was designed to provide a safer route. The
existing 104 highway has had one of the province's highest
accident rates.

The Highway 104 Western Alignment is valued at approximately $113
million. The public-private partnership expected to save
taxpayers approximately $20 million and will see the project
completed much faster than possible through traditional funding


Contact: Chris Welner   902-424-8687

         Susan MacLeod  902-424-2248 

trp                       Oct. 29, 1996 - 5:10 p.m.