RANSPORTATION/PUBLIC WORKS--NEW HIGHWAY NAMED COBEQUID PASS ----------------------------------------------------------------- The Highway 104 Western Alignment is now Cobequid Pass. Don Downe, minister of transportation and public works, announced the new name today saying: "Cobequid Pass is a fitting reflection of the history and geography of this region. Cobequid has long been a proud Nova Scotian name." Cobequid is derived from a Mi'kmaq word Wakobetgitk, meaning "end of flowing or rushing water," a reference to the Bay of Fundy. The highway runs through the Cobequid Mountains. Mr. Downe thanked the Truro and District Chamber of Commerce and the project's Community Liaison Committee for gathering possible names for the highway. Cobequid was a frequent suggestion. A committee of people representing members of the public-private partnership building the highway made the selection, with the minister giving final approval. A slogan -- Right This Way -- will sometimes accompany the name as both an invitation to use the highway and a statement that building this highway as a public-private partnership was the correct way to go. "I'm proud to be part of this important highway, Cobequid Pass," said Mr. Downe, "because it's going to save lives." When Cobequid Pass opens in December, it will establish two safe routes in and around the Wentworth Valley. The existing 104 is a dangerous mix of fast-moving trucks and local traffic. This mix is largely responsible for the 50 fatalities that have occurred in the past decade. Cobequid Pass can be completed within a 20-month schedule thanks to the public-private partnership negotiated to build the highway. Funding the project through traditional methods could have taken between five to 10 years to allow completion. Cobequid Pass is 45 kilometres between Thomson Station and Masstown. Twinned and with a wide median, the road is more than 75 per cent complete. Construction costs are $112.9 million. The main contractor is Atlantic Highways Corp.; major subcontractors are Nova Construction, Tidewater Construction and the Foundation Co. of Canada. Construction on the highway is pumping millions of dollars into Nova Scotia's economy, most significantly for communities in Colchester and Cumberland counties. During peak construction, more than 300 people are employed on the project in manufacturing, construction and technical sectors. Most are from the two counties while others are also Nova Scotian. The number of locally owned and operated trucks in the coming construction season employed on the site from Colchester and Cumberland counties is expected to reach 65. Subcontracts in engineering, design and construction worth a total of $96 million have been awarded to date, the majority going to regional firms. Another $46 million has been committed to third-party suppliers. Ninety-five per cent of these suppliers are Maritime-owned and operated. -30- Contact: Susan MacLeod Highway 104 Western Alignment Corp. 902-424-2248 Chris Welner Department of Transportation and Public Works 902-424-8687 trp June 10, 1997 - 2:10 p.m.