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Halifax councillor calls for N.S. to connect key highways to reduce traffic bottlenecks

Coun. Pamela Lovelace represents Hammonds Plains-St. Margaret's in the Halifax Regional Municipality. (CBC - image credit)
Coun. Pamela Lovelace represents Hammonds Plains-St. Margaret's in the Halifax Regional Municipality. (CBC - image credit)

A Halifax councillor says the province should build a new connection between two key highways along an existing road, to ease congestion and better move people around Nova Scotia.

Coun. Pamela Lovelace sent a letter to the provincial government last week, calling for them to build a route between Highway 103 near Upper Tantallon and Highway 101 at Mount Uniacke's Exit 3.

She said the province already maintains a service road, called Pipeline Road, that stretches north from Highway 103 into the East Hants municipality. Nova Scotia Power already sends heavy equipment down this road for its operations in the area, Lovelace wrote.

The road would have to be extended through Crown land north of Pockwock Lake to reach Highway 101.

"If the taxpayer is putting money into this road, then let's get it upgraded so that it provides the best possible use to move people and goods," Lovelace said Thursday.

The new route would save a lot of time for people driving across the province because they could avoid taking Highway 102 through Bayers Lake and Bedford, Lovelace said.

A Google Map shows the existing Pipeline Road in blue, stretching from Highway 103 into East Hants. A red line shows where a connection could be built to Highway 101 at Exit 3.
A Google Map shows the existing Pipeline Road in blue, stretching from Highway 103 into East Hants. A red line shows where a connection could be built to Highway 101 at Exit 3.

A Google Map shows the existing Pipeline Road in blue, stretching from Highway 103 into East Hants. A red line shows where a connection could be built to Highway 101 at Exit 3. (Pam Lovelace/Google)

It would also help ease congestion on busy Hammonds Plains Road, and allow emergency egress for the Westwood Hills neighbourhood in Lovelace's district where last year's wildfire began.

"This idea, I think, advances the importance of overall egress — not just for one subdivision but for the entire area," she said.

Lovelace said adding a new exchange at Mount Uniacke could open up more development in the area.

East Hants Warden Eleanor Roulston said their council is "very supportive of an investigation into the idea" and has also sent a letter to the province.

This route would be a much better, and cheaper, option than the proposed Highway 113, Lovelace said. That would connect Highway 103 to 102 and pass through the Blue Mountain-Birch Cove wilderness area, which could become a national urban park.

Charlies Lake is part of the expanded area of the Blue Mountain-Birch Cove Lakes Wilderness Area announced Thursday.
Charlies Lake is part of the expanded area of the Blue Mountain-Birch Cove Lakes Wilderness Area announced Thursday.

Charlies Lake in the Blue Mountain-Birch Cove Lakes Wilderness Area. (Submitted by Canadian Parks and Wilderness Society)

"We're talking tens of millions, if not a billion dollars in order to build these bridges and this flyover through wetlands," Lovelace said.

In 2021, Halifax regional council officially directed Mayor Mike Savage to ask the province to strike Highway 113 from its potential projects list. At the time, the provincial government did not take that step but said they were taking the request into consideration.

Public Works Minister Kim Masland said Thursday that Lovelace's suggestion should go to the Joint Regional Transportation Agency (JRTA). The group is analyzing how traffic could better move around Halifax and communities within a one-hour radius of the city.

"They're looking at everything right now," she said.

The province said an environmental assessment for Highway 113 was approved more than a decade ago in 2010, and has been extended until April 2029 to allow additional time for transportation studies.

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