After more than three years, millions of cubic metres of earth moved and thousands of tonnes of asphalt put down, Nova Scotia’s Highway 104 twinning project is nearly complete.

In the coming days, the final 12.5 kilometres between French River and Barneys River will open to traffic, linking four lanes of divided highway from Antigonish to the New Brunswick border. The Highway 104 Project is No. 78 on ReNew Canada’s Top100 Projects report.

“If you’ve driven this highway before, and you drive it next week, you’ll immediately understand how this project is going to improve people’s lives. Everyone using the highway will be safer,” said Premier Tim Houston.

It will still be several weeks until the project reaches final completion, and drivers should expect occasional minor delays between French River and Barneys River as lanes may need to be closed for short periods of time.

“This is an example of what we can accomplish through hard work and strong partnerships. Hundreds of people have worked so hard on this project, and I want to thank each and every one of them. Now drivers have a safer and better experience, trade flows more efficiently and our communities are better connected,” said Kim Masland, Minister of Public Works.

The construction cost of the project is $364.3 million, including $274.3 million from the Province and up to $90 million from the Government of Canada’s National Trade Corridors Fund.

Premier Tim Houston (centre) speaks at the Highway 104 twinning event in French River, Pictou County, NS, as Public Works Minister Kim Masland, and Sean Fraser, Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship and MP for Central Nova, look on. (Communications Nova Scotia)

“We are proud to work on a project of this magnitude that has provided employment to so many here in Nova Scotia. This highway was built for Nova Scotians by Nova Scotians. Today’s milestone was achieved thanks to our local workforce and many companies and suppliers. Together, they worked tirelessly for three years to bring this project to completion on time and on budget,” said Ken MacLean, chair, Dexter Nova Alliance GP.

“A four-lane, divided Trans-Canada Highway between Antigonish and Sutherlands River is something that many thought couldn’t be done due to the terrain, elevation and overall landscape. Its completion is one of the most significant infrastructure projects of our lifetime. There have been far too many tragedies on the single-lane highway in this area. This new section of divided highway creates a safer transportation corridor for residents of Antigonish, visitors to our area and those who are just travelling through. It will have a considerable impact on the lives of commuters and better link Antigonish to other parts of the province,” said Laurie Boucher, Mayor, Town of Antigonish.

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Quick Facts:

  • The project covers about 38 kilometres of highway and includes the construction of two new interchanges, 24 new bridges and environmental enhancements such as wildlife corridors and fencing.
  • Dexter Nova Alliance will be responsible for the operation and maintenance of the newly twinned highway, plus another 25 kilometres of previously existing highway.
  • Workers have moved more than 5.6 million cubic metres of earth and put down more than 320,000 tonnes of asphalt.
  • The project has created nearly two million person-hours of work, which is roughly the same as hiring 300 people full-time for 40 months.
  • Construction on this project started May 6, 2020.

Featured image: (Communication Nova Scotia)


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