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As reported by CBC News, when Nova Scotia builds an active transportation trail alongside the Highway 107 extension, it will be the first of its kind in the province.
A new four-lane highway will be built over the next five years connecting Akerley Boulevard in the Burnside area of Dartmouth to Duke Street in the Bedford-Lower Sackville area.
As part of that project, the provincial Department of Transportation and Infrastructure Renewal will construct a four-metre-wide, paved active transportation trail alongside the highway.
The province’s senior highway design engineer, Keith Boddy, said Canada has been slower to embrace this type of design, but it’s not too late to start.
“These types of treatments are common around the world,” he said. “They’re going to be more prevalent around Canada. I can’t point to specific sites, but they’re coming.”
Residents can expect to see more pedestrian and cycling trails built along major highways as opportunities arise, Boddy said.
“We’re in the process of updating our system. We’re embracing more of a holistic design approach whereby we are incorporating all users and corridors as much as we can. I’m not going to criticize 50 years ago, but when highways were built, cyclists weren’t a user.”
Boddy said the last time a major urban highway was built in Nova Scotia was in the late 60s or early 70s when the Bicentennial Highway was constructed to connect the Fall River area with Bedford and peninsular Halifax.
“Things have changed. The world has changed,” Boddy said. “Change is for the good, I guess, when we start to consider all the users.”
A trail runs along part of Highway 4 between Glace Bay, N.S., and Sydney, but Boddy said highway speeds on that stretch are lower.
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