SUTHERLAND’S RIVER, N.S.
The stretch of Highway 104 between Antigonish and Sutherland’s River is on the way to becoming something far more safe and navigable.
Last week, drop-in sessions were hosted in Antigonish and Pictou County by the Department of Transportation and Infrastructure Renewal for the route of the new highway.
Drop-in sessions constituted the first step in public consultation.
While most of the highway between Sutherland’s River and Antigonish has a certain amount of right of way that is already owned by the province, the most challenging part of the twinning will be encountered in Marshy Hope, where TIR plans to divert the 10-km portion of the highway south of where it is now, to construct the new lanes.
“For the most part, 28 of the 38 km we are just twinning, adjacent to the highway, and this detour around Marshy hope will be 10 km of new highway,” Jamie Chisholm, director of major projects with TIR, said. “You have a railway on one side, and a fairly significant river on the other, so the geographical features and the space really didn’t allow for an easy twinning through that area, without significant impacts.”
According to Chisholm, TIR considered two options; twinning existing lanes in Marshy Hope, or detouring. The department did a cost comparison and it was determined that rerouting Highway 104 would be more cost effective, and constitute less of an impact on the area.
Chisholm noted construction is expected to start in spring, 2020.