The Department of Transportation and Infrastructure Renewal (TIR) is currently constructing a 10 km roadway project to improve the safety and efficiency of Highway 103 from Broad River to Port Joli.
The project consists of two separate sections; one near Port Joli (Phase 1A) and one near Port Mouton (Phase 1B). They are separated by a 3.5 km section of existing Highway 103. The Port Joli section begins just west of Louis Lake (Label A on Map) and follows the alignment of the power line for approximately 4.1 km until connecting back onto the existing Highway 103 (Label B). The Port Mouton section goes west from near Wagner Brook (Label C) for approximately 5.9 km and ends 1.2 km east of Broad River (Label D).
Two new at-grade intersections will be built on Highway 103 to provide access between the new and existing highways.
The existing Highway 103 between the communities of Port Mouton and Port Joli is currently a two-way, two-lane, uncontrolled access highway. Traffic volumes for the area average as high as 2300 - 3200 vehicles per day. A new controlled access highway will provide a number of benefits including: improved safety, a reduction of through traffic on Trunk 3, and an alternative to the existing highway system once future phases are completed.
An open house for this project was held on February 18, 2010. The open house provided the public with a better prospective on the overall project and gave TIR valuable community feedback on its planned alignment.
Since then the department has met with residents and business owners to address questions about the project. The public consultation process provided useful and informative feedback towards various aspects of the project that lead to a number of modifications to the highway configuration. The result is a much-improved highway alignment and access configuration.
Land for the new highway has been purchased to accommodate the current and future phases (including future twinning).
To improve the overall safety and access to the new highway the existing Highway 103 will be cut-off n the Port Mouton end and a new connector road built approximately half way between Labels C and D. On the Port Joli end of the project, the existing Highway 103 will be cut-off near Labels A and B with a new intersection located just west of Label B.
Direct access to the new Highway 103 will not be permitted once the project is complete. Access for landowners abutting the new highway will be on new parallel access roads that will intersect with existing access roads or the new highway at designated locations.
The department is experienced in building roads in close proximity to developed areas, wetlands, streams, forests, and sites of historical significance. Careful planning and design measures along with accepted construction techniques will minimize the impacts of the new highway and activities related to road construction.
Detailed design of Phase 1A is complete. Bridge and subgrade construction (earthworks) is complete and paving is scheduled to begin in Spring 2015. This section is expected to be complete and open to traffic by Fall 2015.
Detailed design of Phase 1B was finalized in early 2014. Land clearing and bridge construction is nearly complete. Subgrade construction is expected to begin in early 2015 with paving commencing a year later in early 2016. Opening for the Port Mouton section is anticipated for Fall 2016.
The estimated cost of construction of this project is currently $47-million. The project was approved for federal funding and a cost-sharing agreement with the Federal Government was signed in March 2012. The Federal Government has committed to a contribution of up to $16.5-million.