Ottawa investing $47 million to increase capacity at the Port of Halifax

The federal government says it will spend $47 million to boost capacity at the Port of Halifax.

Transportation Minister Marc Garneau made the announcement Sunday in a large hall along the city's rain-soaked waterfront, not far from the largest container terminal in Eastern Canada.

Garneau says the money will cover half the cost of two projects, the first of which will increase storage capacity at the port by using an existing rail line through the downtown to connect the South End Container Terminal to the Fairview Cove Container Terminal north of the city's core.

The minister says the new rail line will help reduce container truck traffic through the downtown by 75 per cent, which is also expected to greatly reduce traffic congestion and pollution.

The second project will upgrade the Windsor Street Exchange, the main access road to the port.

The money will come from the second round of funding under the federal government's 11-year, $2-billion National Trade Corridors Fund, which had initially rejected an application from the port.