Major road projects still awaiting funding

Road building season in jeopardy: Clarke

July 28, 2014

SYDNEY, NS - Residents in the Cape Breton Regional Municipality are seeing road work underway on smaller side streets while major work on main roads has yet to be started.

CBRM is seeking to invest $9 million in cost shared funding on heavy traffic roads. The projects are to be equally cost shared, at one-third each, between the municipality, federal government and provincial government. The funding is administered by the province and has not yet been approved.

Mayor Cecil Clarke says this delay is putting the 2014 road construction season in jeopardy.

"Residents are asking why short side streets are being done before the main streets. It's a good question," said Clarke. "Workers who should be busy with these road projects have still not been called back to work. They are wondering if they should take jobs out west because this season is almost lost."

The CBRM has applied for $36 million in cost-shared projects in 2014-15. Council approved the borrowing of $12 million to leverage as much federal and provincial funding as possible.

"We were the first municipality to provide our list of priorities to the province," said Clarke. "Unless we get approval immediately, projects will run out of time."

Some of the main roads awaiting funding this year include Welton and Alexandra Streets in Sydney, Main Street in Glace Bay, Main Street in Sydney Mines, Martha Boulevard in Mira Road, Royal Avenue in Dominion and Memorial Drive in North Sydney.

Collector roads on the list for funding include Upper Reeves, Ferry, Terrace, Wentworth and Falmouth Streets in Sydney, West Avenue, York Street and Bell Street in Glace Bay, Brook Street in North Sydney, Burke Street and Queen Street in Sydney Mines.

Small, local road projects are happening right now. This $3.2 million investment is cost shared equally between CBRM and federal government's Gas Tax Fund. The funding is in place and the work is underway.

The municipality's 2014-15 budget targeted $12.2 million for street and underground work. This includes the $3.2 million for local road repaving projects and $9.0 million for projects associated with collector and arterial streets.