N.S. to spend $390 million on highway improvements without using tolls

The Nova Scotia government is committing $390 million over seven years to improve highways without the use of tolls.

Transportation Minister Geoff MacLellan says after a series of 14 public meetings it was clear tolls weren't wanted, but that the province should improve roads.

MacLellan says the funding will allow the twinning of three sections of 100-series highways and the building of the Burnside connector in suburban Halifax.

The funding includes $30 million for safety improvements for highways not being twinned.

The twinning projects include Highway 101 at the Windsor causeway, Highway 103 from Tantallon to Hubbards and Highway 104 from Sutherlands River to Antigonish.

A report released earlier this year said twinning the stretch of Highway 104 from Sutherlands River to Antigonish would cost $285,100,000, and reduce the number of collisions by 11.6 annually.

Barney's River Fire Chief Joe MacDonald said in a Tweet on Wednesday morning that this is "fantastic news." 

He has long advocated for the twinning between Sutherland's River and Antigonish. 

The province has applied for matching funds for the projects under the federal infrastructure program.

With files from the Canadian Press.