Study says tolls are a financially viable way to twin Highway 104

A new study says it's financial viable to twin a stretch of Highway 104 from Sutherland's River to Antigonish with the help of tolls.

The report, commissioned by the provincial government from CBCL Ltd., says the possible toll range is $2.27 to $3.78.

That's based on an estimate of future revenue using a range of toll rates, and CBCL says the break even toll for the 37.8 kilometre stretch was 6 cents per kilometre.

It's also estimated that the twinning would reduce the number of collisions by 11.6 annually.

The total project cost is $285,100,000, and CBCL says the tolls, plus a similar partnership as the Cobequid Pass, would result in twinned highways "decades earlier" than using "conventional approaches."

The next steps include a series of public consultations, the first of which is Tuesday night at the Pictou County Wellness Centre from 6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m.