News Release Archive

Transportation and Public Works Minister Don Downe today released
a snapshot of the sources and uses of cash projected for the
Cobequid Pass highway project.

Toll revenues are projected at $538 million based on 30-year
traffic forecasts. 

Expenditures are based on fixed-fee contracts that cover debt
servicing, highway maintenance and operations. After expenses are
paid, this model predicts $151 million of excess cash. If traffic
volumes meet or exceed traffic projections, this excess cash will
revert to the province.

"Given the inexact nature of such predictions, there is no
guarantee this level of revenue will be available," said Mr.
Downe. "If there is excess revenue it will be used either to pay
off the debt early, forgo future toll increases or build more
highways --it will stay in highways."

Toll revenue                  $538
Interest on toll revenue       $32
Initial funding of reserves     $6
($5.5 million subordinated note)
Total Revenue                 $576


Debt service                     $295
(fixed rates of return)
Operations-regular highway        $96
maintenance; toll collection
Major maintenance (repaving)      $34
Excess cash returned to province  $151
Total expenditures                $576

NOTE:all figures are indexed for inflation

The debt service charge of $295 million will repay the $60.9
million of private investment and the $5.5 million subordinated
note plus interest over 30 years. 

Cobequid Pass is on schedule for opening Dec. 1, 1997, after a
record-breaking 20-month construction schedule. Toll rates are $3
per car and $2 per axle for trucks.  A discount program has been
established for frequent users of the highway who have an active
transponder account. By participating in the electronic toll
system, highway users will pay only $1.50 per car trip and $1.50
per truck axle. 
Cobequid Pass is a 45-kilometre four-lane highway that bypasses
the treacherous Wentworth Valley Highway 104. Its construction
cost $112.9 million. With the goal of building a safer
alternative highway as quickly as possible, a partnership was
struck with Atlantic Highways Corp., the builder, and Newcourt
Credit Group, the company that provided $60.9 million of private

Contact: Chris Welner
         Transportation and Public Works

ngr                       September 16, 1997            4:50 pm