In the coming weeks, the Nova Scotia Department of Public Works will be breaking ground on a transformational Active Transportation Corridor in Antigonish. The project includes the construction of a multi-use pathway along the Trunk 4 between Beech Hill Road and Addington Forks Road. The new pathway system will be approximately five kilometres long and provide opportunities for walking, cycling, and the use of human-powered or hybrid mobility aids such as wheelchairs, e-bikes, rollerblades and more. The new corridor will give users a safe active transportation option that links with the new active transportation spine through the Town of Antigonish and to StFX University.
“Encouraging active transportation and finding ways to reduce our carbon footprint are among the reasons behind the construction of 5 kilometres of walking and cycling pathways, announced in partnership with the Municipality of the County of Antigonish and the Government of Nova Scotia in 2022. Shifting towards active transportation solutions is crucial in increasing movement in our everyday lives and in making stronger and healthier communities,” said the Honourable Sean Fraser, Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship and Member of Parliament for Central Nova.
The Government of Canada is investing $9 million towards this project. The Government of Nova Scotia is providing $6.9 million and the Municipality of the County of Antigonish is contributing over $2 million.
Construction is expected to start later this Spring. In 2023, residents will see the redesign of Trunk 4 (former Trans-Canada Highway) from James Street to Church Street. There will be a round-about constructed at the Trunk 4 and Trunk 7 intersection. This section will be reduced to single lanes with a 4.5 metre wide multi-use path (see graphic).
“This project is possible thanks to the hard work of our Recreation Department, specifically, Recreation Director Marlene Melanson and Active Living Coordinator Meaghan MacNeil, who have been advocating for increased active transportation opportunities for many years,” said Warden Owen McCarron. “There was an opportunity to partner with the Nova Scotia Department of Public Works to apply for funding through the Investing in Canada Infrastructure Program (ICIP) and that application was successful. This is truly going to be a transformational project for our community.”
Once complete, this project will become part of the Blue Route, a province-wide network of bicycle infrastructure that helps Nova Scotians to travel between communities, stay active, and reduce their carbon footprints. Future phases will continue west to Addington Forks and east to Beech Hill Road. As part of a provincial initiative, adding shoulders to meet Blue Route criteria from Beech Hill Road to Highway 316 will also be completed within the timeline of the AT Corridor Conversion project.
“Nova Scotia is a national leader in fighting climate change. Reducing emissions by encouraging active transportation is one of many actions propelling us toward our ambitious goal of reaching carbon neutrality by 2050,” said the Honourable Tory Rushton, Minister of Natural Resources and Renewables for the Province of Nova Scotia.
“We are very excited to see this project come to fruition. This will provide safe opportunities for our community to use alternate forms of transportation and lead more active, healthy lives,” added Marlene Melanson, Recreation Director.