Making Our Dollars Go Further

Unlike many jurisdictions, the province of Nova Scotia is responsible for maintaining 90 per cent of all public roads - 23,000 kilometres. When you consider that the cost per kilometre is over $300,000 to repave, $500,000 to $750,000 or more to upgrade a trunk highway, and $3 million to twin a highway, it is clear that we need to be wise and innovative with taxpayer dollars.

To get the best value, government is taking a more balanced approach. We continue to address severely damaged roads, yet a larger portion of our highway improvement budget now helps improve paved roads before they become too damaged and need more costly repairs. We continue to face significant road improvement needs and this approach will ensure that funding is used more efficiently and effectively.

By using the latest preservation treatments and techniques, we can provide a hard surface for more gravel roads, pave smarter by preventing more costly problems before they happen and improve a greater number of low-volume paved roads. The result is we are improving more roads in more communities.

Innovations mean paying less, paving more

Government committed to increase resurfacing of trunks, routes and local roads (non-100 series) by 50 per cent. An in-house chip seal crew and a new mobile asphalt plant are helping us keep that commitment. These approaches have also helped us improve prices in parts of the province where competition was limited.

Using the new mobile asphalt plant we can apply a single lift of asphalt now, instead of waiting until the existing pavement has totally deteriorated. This allows us to improve the condition and extend the life of more roads at a fraction of the cost. The concept is like replacing aging shingles on your roof today, instead of waiting until you get more severe and costly water damage inside your home later.

The province has saved millions of dollars through pavement preservation techniques, making it possible to start some capital projects earlier than originally planned.

Pavement preservation is cost effective. Spending $1 on pavement preservation before a paved road is 15 years old can eliminate or delay having to spend $6 to $14 on rehabilitation or reconstruction when the pavement surface has failed.

Preservation techniques can extend the life of asphalt, improve smoothness, reduce potholes and decrease rutting and cracking. Roads stay smoother and safer at a much lower cost than by allowing them to deteriorate to the point of needing full reconstruction.

Surface stabilization involves using many methods to improve local low-volume roads leading to smoother, dust-free roads for drivers and communities.