HALIFAX: The prequalification phase for the Highway 104 twinning request for proposals is complete.

Atlantic Safelink Partners, Dexter Nova Alliance and Osprey Transportation Solutions have qualified to bid on the Highway 104 twinning project.

“The 100-series highways are the backbone of our transportation system, carrying people and goods from one end of the province to the other,” said Transportation Minister Lloyd Hines. “This project will make that portion of highway safer and benefit generations to come.”

A request for proposals will be issued to the three successful partnerships in the coming weeks for construction and maintenance.

Thirty-eight kilometres between Sutherland’s River and Antigonish will be twinned, as well as the construction of new interchanges and bridges.

The department is using a P3 model in which the responsibilities for designing, building, financing, operating and maintaining the highway is given to a single firm through a bidding process. The department said this allows for the firm to control the schedule of the project and helps reduce the timeline and associated risk.

While the province is using a P3 approach for Highway 104, it is not considering the implementation of any tolls to finance the project.

The department expects to announce the winner in early 2020. The twinning of Highway 104 is to be completed by the end of 2023.