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
Innovations mean paying less,
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
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.