News Release Archive

TRANSPORTATION/PUBLIC WORKS--Cobequid Pass Opening Nov. 15
Cobequid Pass will open for traffic Saturday, Nov. 15,
Transportation and Public Works Minister Don Downe announced
today. The highway will operate toll-free to the end of the

"Five years ago this highway was an unanswered need. Twenty
months ago it was just lines on a blueprint," said Mr. Downe.
"Today, it's here. I am amazed by the speed of construction and
impressed with the quality and efficiency of the hundreds of
professional men and women who built Cobequid Pass."

The scheduled completion date of Cobequid Pass was Dec. 1, 1997.

"The highway's early opening is just one example of the success
of this public-private partnership," said John Beck, president of
Atlantic Highways Corp., the highway builder. "I've continually
been impressed with the high quality of work on this made-in-Nova
Scotia job. We're very proud to be part of this project."

Mr. Downe said the 45-kilometre Cobequid Pass opens a new safe
route for motorists and provides a key four-lane link for
business and truck travel through the heartland of Nova Scotia. 

"First and foremost, this highway was designed to save lives,"
said the minister. "More than 50 people have died on the old 104
in the past 10 years and that's a statistic we could not ignore."

The government and private partners have offered the free travel
period as an introduction to the new road until Dec. 1.

Staff at the operations centre on the highway will inform
motorists about the 50 per cent discounts available with the
E-Pass electronic toll system and to set up E-Pass accounts.
E-Pass applications will also be available at Registry of Motor
Vehicle offices and Access Nova Scotia centres across the province 
beginning Nov. 17.

The E-Pass, or transponder, is a playing card-sized transmitter
that mounts on the windshield. Electronic equipment at the toll
plaza scans the transponder and automatically deducts the toll
from a personal prepaid E-Pass account.

Car drivers can take advantage of the E-Pass system by acquiring
a transponder for a one-time cost of $15 and a $30 deposit that
will pay for 20 trips on Cobequid Pass. The E-Pass for commercial
truckers costs $40 with an initial deposit of $54 to open an
account. Mounting kits are $1 each.

Car drivers with an E-Pass will be charged $1.50 per trip. Truck
drivers with an E-Pass will pay $1.50 per axle to a maximum of
six axles. Without transponders, the cash rate is $3 per car and
$2 per truck axle.

Police, fire and ambulance vehicles are exempt from paying tolls.


Contact: Susan MacLeod
         Highway 104 Western Alignment Corp.

         Chris Welner
         Transportation and Public Works

ngr                  Nov. 7, 1997                 12:15 p.m.