Dexter Nova Alliance, a consortium led by Bedford, N.S.-based Dexter Construction, has been selected as the preferred proponent to design, build, finance, operate, and maintain a section of the Highway 104 which will be twinned between Sutherlands River, Pictou Co. and Antigonish.

Dexter Nova Alliance was one of three proponents shortlisted to bid on the project. The company submitted the highest scoring proposal, based on technical approach, financing and overall cost. As the preferred proponent, the province will negotiate terms of a final agreement, including costs, before the end of March.

“The successful proponent is highly qualified with a long history of building high-quality roads in Nova Scotia,” said Lloyd Hines, Minister of Transportation and Infrastructure Renewal. “The selection of a preferred proponent represents another significant step toward making the highway between Sutherlands River and Antigonish safer for motorists.”

The Highway 104 Sutherlands River to Antigonish project involves building just west of Exit 31 in Antigonish. The completed project will provide a continuous twinned Highway 104 from the New Brunswick border to east of Antigonish at Taylors Road, near South River.

According to the Government of Nova Scotia release, the public-private-partnership approach will result in new twinned portions of the highway being opened much earlier than a traditional build model. This approach will be done without tolls or staff reductions.

The project also includes the proponent taking over ongoing operating and maintenance responsibilities for the twinned portion of the highway and another 25 kilometres of existing highway. That includes snow removal, pothole repair and any repaving that may be required over the 20-year agreement.

The project agreement with Dexter Nova Alliance is expected to be finalized in April. Once the contract is formally awarded, project cost information will be made public.

Construction will start this spring and be completed no later than the end of 2023.

The province also approved an early works agreement that will allow for design and permitting work to proceed immediately so that construction can start this spring.

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