ST. PETER’S: The final round of upgrades to the two-lane highway connecting St. Peter’s to Sydney should wrap up later this year, with two levels of government committing a combined $6.52 million towards the remaining 6.2 kilometres of the Trunk 4 project.
The funding announcement, which took place last Friday morning at the St. Peter’s Fire Hall, involves the stretch of highway between Corbett’s Cove and the eastern entrance to the St. Peter’s Canal, which is set to see its one-lane swing bridge replaced with a two-lane model at roughly the same time as the completion of the Trunk 4 project in the late spring or early summer.
According to Cape Breton-Richmond MLA Michel Samson, who unveiled $3,487,500 in provincial funding on behalf of Nova Scotia Transportation Minister Geoff MacLellan, the project will include the addition of active transportation lanes for cyclists and pedestrians, repaving, an updated guardrail, and a new entrance to Battery Provincial Park, which is found near the eastern intersection of the canal bridge and Trunk 4.
“For many years, people dreaded taking the Number 4 from St. Peter’s to Sydney – it was a route to be avoided at all costs because of the condition of the road,” Samson pointed out.
“Seeing this [upgrade] done will be the final section that will now allow for one of the most beautiful drives that anyone could ever take in Cape Breton Island to be on the Number 4.”
Cape Breton-Canso MP Rodger Cuzner, who confirmed $3,032,500 in federal funding on behalf of Minister of Infrastructure and Communities Amarjeet Sohi, drew chuckles from the crowd in attendance when he commented on the previous condition of Trunk 4 through northeastern Richmond County.
“The shocks on my car are really going to appreciate this announcement,” Cuzner smiled.
“It’s a piece of work that has to be done, and I know it will be something that will pay dividends for years to come.”
The Liberal MP also praised the “great collaboration” that had occurred between government officials and the Potlotek First Nation band council to complete the portion of Trunk 4 encompassed by the Mi’kmaw community, and Potlotek Chief Wilbert Marshall returned the compliment during his own remarks.
“You would have never seen that before, but over the last few years, we’ve been working on a great relationship,” said Marshall, as he described the cooperation his community has received from the federal and provincial governments and the Village of St. Peter’s.
“Three people from my community worked on the [canal] bridge last year and on the highway – that would never have happened before.”
The Trunk 4 funding commitment may not be the last provincial announcement affecting St. Peter’s this spring, as Samson told the gathering that this year’s scheduled road construction plan for Cape Breton-Richmond includes eight kilometres’ worth of paving between the intersection of Pepperell Street and Grenville Street and the nearby community of Samsonville.
“All the side roads that are currently paved will get new asphalt put on them as well,” Samson added. “So that’s one of the major projects that’s coming.”