The awarding of two major construction contracts, valued at $9.4 million, was enough to get the provincial ministers for Transportation and Service NL out to the area of the Team Gushue Highway Extension today.
The extension project is expected to come in at about $50 million in total — cost shared between the provincial and federal governments. The federal government, through the Building Canada Fund is putting in $22.5 million for the development, while the province is covering the rest.
The project has taken a big step forward recently, with two tender contracts awarded to build a series of underpasses along the new highway. One was already under construction and clearly defined, as hard-hatted reporters and similarly safety-dressed ministers gathered at Redmond’s Road, just off Blackmarsh Road in St. John’s this afternoon.
Minister of Transportation and Works Nick McGrath said one of the major contracts for the highway, to build concrete underpasses was awarded to Pennecon Heavy Civil Ltd. and is valued at $5.8 million. The second contract, valued at $3.6 million, went to Newfound Construction Ltd.
“There are more underpasses planned for the highway, one at Blackmarsh Road and two at Topsail Road, which are currently under design and will be tendered in spring 2014,” McGrath said.
The federal Minister of Transport Lisa Raitt was not in attendance as McGrath offered the update on the project. She did, however, provide a statement added to a news release put out by the province later in the afternoon.
“Our government is proud to invest in infrastructure projects that create local jobs, promote economic growth and improve the quality of life for all Canadians. This investment demonstrates the Government of Canada’s commitment to working with our provincial partners to improve transportation infrastructure in this region,” she stated.