Highway 103 Twinning Upper Tantallon (Exit 5) to Hubbards (Exit 6)
Highway 103 is currently twinned from Highway 102, in Halifax, to Exit 5, at Upper Tantallon and from east of Exit 8 near Chester Basin to west of Exit 9 at Gold River. The section of Highway 103, between Upper Tantallon (Exit 5) and Hubbards (Exit 6) is currently a two lane, 100 Series controlled access highway. Traffic Volumes have been increasing steadily on this section over the past several years and currently represent the highest volumes for a two-lane section of Highway 103.
The current Average Annual Daily Traffic (AADT) is between 10,600 and 12,500, surpassing the 10,000 AADT threshold at which two-lane highways are typically evaluated as candidates for twinning.
The twinning of this section of Highway 103 is important to the Province of Nova Scotia as it will increase the highway capacity and safety performance levels for large volumes of people and goods traveling to and from communities along the South Shore.
Based on the Highway 103 Operational and Safety Review, dated March 2015, there is a strong correlation between high traffic volumes and higher numbers of fatal collisions. Twinning is an appropriate measure for increasing capacity, greatly reducing head-on collisions and driver frustration.
An Public Consultation Open House event was conducted in March 2011. The purpose of this event was to provide information to the public, identify any environmental issues that may be outstanding and give the public an opportunity to discuss any concerns they may have. Information was collected to ensure the best location, design and route.
The results of environmental field investigations helped define measures to be taken to eliminate, minimize, or compensate for any environmental impacts. An environmental assessment report was completed in 2012. Topographical information was collected in 2007, 2014 and 2017. A traffic study was completed in 2011 that anticipated increased traffic volumes for this section of Highway 103 after construction of the Ingramport Interchange and Connector.
Construction between Exit 5 and 5A is scheduled to begin in the spring of 2018, starting with the watercourse structures and placement of a bridge (for Bowater Mersey Road) over Highway 103 near Little Indian Lake. Construction of subgrade (earthworks) will begin in 2018 and continue through 2020. Paving construction is scheduled for the summer of 2020.
The anticipated completion and opening date is fall of 2020.
Construction for twinning between Ingramport (Exit 5A) and Hubbards (Exit 6) is scheduled to begin in 2020 as the construction of the previous section is being completed and will take 3 years.
The Department of Transportation and Infrastructure Renewal (TIR) is committed to the twinning of Highway 103 from Upper Tantallon to Hubbards. The twinning will start at the end of the existing twinning just west of Upper Tantallon (Exit 5) and end approximately 2 km west of Hubbards (Exit 6).
The total length of the proposed twinning will be approximately 22 km. Opposing traffic will be separated with sections of high-tension cable barrier median (21.4 metre width) where environmental and land constraints exist, as well as wide open median (35 metre width) in all other areas. The posted speed of the upgraded highway will be 110 km/h.
On July 25, 2017 the Federal and Provincial governments announced funding to twin Highway 103 from Upper Tantallon to Hubbards – a total cost of approximately $140 million with the Federal government contributing $66 million.
The twinning initiative is split into two, more manageable, project sections:
Upper Tantallon (Exit 5) to Ingramport (Exit 5A) and Ingramport (Exit 5A) to Hubbards (Exit 6).
The twinning of Highway 103, Upper Tantallon to Ingramport, has proceeded to the detailed design in preparation of construction in 2018. See project map below.
The twinning of Highway 103, Ingramport to Hubbards, is in the planning phase and is scheduled for construction beginning in 2020. See project map below.