Highway Construction and Maintenance: A Look Back

The last four provincial highway budgets have been record setting- totaling more than $1 billion.

The department has paved more than 1,900 kilometres in the last three years with another 500 kilometres planned in 2012-13.

The total highway capital budget is $281 million and a further $82 million will be spent in 2012-13 from operational funding for highway maintenance improvements. That means $363 million will be invested in Nova Scotia roads this construction season.

In the summer of 2011 the provincial government began chip sealing with one crew, to introduce competition to the industry, and to maximize taxpayers dollars in terms of highway resurfacing.

Prior to launching the in-house program, the province was paying $91,000 per kilometre of double chip seal. In 2011, the province paid an average of $40,000 per kilometre for tendered projects.

The in-house program delivered more services for taxpayers by allowing the work to be done for less money, and by affecting and reducing overall tender prices.

The outcome was the province saved more than $2 million on tenders last season. Those savings meant the province could start certain capital projects a year earlier than listed in the 5-year plan. By paying less, Nova Scotia is paving more.