Why a 5-year Plan

Government's commitment to repairing rural roads and keeping communities strong led to Nova Scotia's first five-year paving and highway improvement plan in November 2010.

The 2012-13 edition is the third five-year plan. It outlines major construction projects, repaving, major bridge replacements and maintenance, and infrastructure work the province plans to pursue on a year-by-year basis during the next five years. This advance planning allows the department to fix more roads, reach more communities and work more effectively with partners while being transparent and accountable.

The plan also enables Nova Scotians to track provincial road improvements on a yearly basis. Each year following budget approval, a detailed plan for that year's highway construction season will be released, along with a report on the previous year's projects.

The plan also explains government's new approach, making the most of every available dollar to address highway construction and maintenance. In the past, the majority of funding has gone to the most damaged roads, so the overall condition of roads deteriorated faster than they could be fixed.

The province is now taking a more balanced approach which uses a variety of improvement options, with a greater focus on improving paved roads before they become severely damaged and require more costly repairs. Some road improvement work is also being done in-house to ensure that prices are competitive in all parts of the province.