News Release Archive

Construction on the Highway 104 Western Alignment is pumping
millions of dollars into Nova Scotia's economy, figures released
today confirm. The big economic winners are local communities in
Colchester and Cumberland Counties.

For the reporting period September to December, approximately 400
people were employed on the project in the manufacturing,
construction and technical sectors. More than half the workers
are from Colchester and Cumberland Counties, while others from
outside the two counties are also Nova Scotians. Even during
winter shut-down, which began in late December, approximately 75
people remain on the job.

"We're building 45 kilometres of safe, four-lane highway that is
driving more than $100 million into the economy in less than two
years," said Transportation and Public Works Minister Don Downe.
"It's Nova Scotian contractors, tradespeople and businesses who
are gaining from this project."

To date, sub-contracts in engineering, design and construction,
worth a total of $95 million, have been awarded, the majority
going to regional firms. This is an increase of $6 million in
subcontracting from the last quarter. In addition, $42 million
has been committed to third party suppliers, up from $31 million
last quarter. Ninety-five per cent of these suppliers are
Maritime owned and operated.

In November, before winter weather set in, the number of
locally-owned and operated trucks employed on the site from
Colchester and Cumberland Counties peaked at 56.

"We think this new stretch of 104 will bring even more economic
benefits to the Glenholme and surrounding area once it's opened,"
said Ed MacDonald, president of the Truro and District Chamber of
Commerce. "As we take advantage of the increased opportunities
for business development, this area will become a major service
corridor for tourists, truckers and the travelling public."

Communities closest to the construction site are benefiting from
the sale of various materials and services necessary for
construction, such as lumber, tools, oxygen and equipment. Other
local businesses benefitting from the highway include
restaurants, hotels, service providers and retailers.

Mr. Downe said construction has proceeded on schedule since its
start April 1. Opening in December, 1997, the highway is now more
than half finished. Among the noteworthy aspects of the project
to date:

-  a snowmobile crossing capable of accommodating trail grooming
   equipment, is in place in the vicinity of Hilltop Road. The
   crossing is an important feature of the highway's design
   because of the sport's local popularity;

-  the Glenholme Overpass, Wentworth Collingwood Road,
   Westchester Road and Gray Road are all open and in use;

-  the project's independent engineer, Ian Williams of McCormick
   Rankin, hired to oversee the quality of construction, recently
   endorsed the high safety standards of the highway's design and
   construction, saying, "We are completely satisfied that the
   safety requirements in the specifications for this highway
   meet or exceed those the government of Nova Scotia has in
   place for all its 100-series highways."

Winter work is proceeding in selected areas, and placement of
rock and hay for environmental protection will continue as
weather permits. Construction will resume when the ground thaws.

Because of the public-private partnership the highway can be
constructed in 20 months. The 45 kilometre stretch of new highway
will separate the mix of high-speed through traffic, including
larger trucks, and low-speed local traffic on the two-lane
Wentworth Valley Road.


Contact: Susan MacLeod  902-424-2248

         Chris Welner   902-424-8687

NOTE TO EDITORS: A list of suppliers and sub-contractors is
available by calling 1-800-670-4357 or 1-902-424-4492.

trp                      Feb. 5, 1997 - 9:20 a.m.