Andy Savoy, MP (Tobique-Mactaquac) and Jeannot Castonguay, MP (Madawaska-Restigouche), on behalf of Transport Minister David Collenette, together with New Brunswick Premier Bernard Lord and Transportation Minister Paul Robichaud, today officially opened 25 kilometres of four-lane Trans-Canada Highway in northwestern New Brunswick. The 25 kilometres of new four-lane highway includes a 17.2 kilometre section between Saint-Lonard and Grand Falls, and an 8.1 kilometre bypass at Perth-Andover. Construction of these critical highway improvement projects began in 1999. The Government of Canada and the Province of New Brunswick jointly shared the cost of the two projects on a 50-50 cost-shared basis. The Saint-Lonard-Grand Falls project, valued at $79.5 million, included building a major bridge crossing the St. John River at Grand Falls as well as several interchanges and grade separations. The construction of the Perth-Andover bypass between Perth-Andover and Aroostook, valued at $20.4 million, included twinning the existing Route 2 between the two communities, construction of an interchange at Route 190 and connecting roadways, three new structures and widening a fourth structure to meet current guidelines. “This highway is an important route for trade and tourism in New Brunswick, and these improvements will certainly advance the efficiency of this highway,” said Mr. Savoy. “Completion of these two projects is great news for the people of New Brunswick, visitors to the province, and the regional economy.” “These projects are a wonderful example of the type of initiative that the Highway Improvement Program was designed to fund,” said Mr. Castonguay. “These are projects that enhance safety, stimulate the economy, promote efficiency, and benefit the people of New Brunswick, and local businesses and visitors.” “Modern highways like the ones we are opening today are a fundamental measure of the success of any economy,” said Mr. Lord. “Each new section of Trans-Canada that we open makes it easier to move people and goods throughout our province and to move them more efficiently and with greater safety. This enhances our trade links with our trading partners in Quebec, Ontario and the United States and makes New Brunswick a more attractive destination for visitors.” “With the opening of these two highways, it is now possible to travel on four-lane highway for almost 80 kilometres from the Quebec border," said Minister Robichaud. "This will mean important safety and economic benefits for the people of this region and all of New Brunswick.” The federal funding for these projects is part of $358 million provided to the province under the Canada/New Brunswick Highway Improvement Program. Since 1993, Transport Canada has contributed $740 million to highway infrastructure improvement projects in New Brunswick. In the past year over $250 million in new federal funding was announced to improve New Brunswick’s road system, including twinning the Trans-Canada Highway (Route 2) and improvements to the province’s two major border crossings at St. Stephen and Woodstock.