Liberals lay out five-year infrastructure plan

Published on March 17, 2017

Premier Dwight Ball announced a five-year infrastructure plan Friday.

©James McLeod/The Telegram

Premier Dwight Ball laid out the roadmap for the next five years of infrastructure work in the province, worth a total of nearly $2.3 billion. In the upcoming budget, there will be only $455 million for the 2017-18 fiscal year.

The biggest chunk of that money will go to transportation infrastructure, including paving the Trans-Labrador Highway, building the Team Gushue Highway, and regular road maintenance.

There’s also money for political hot-button projects like the new hospital in Corner Brook, and Coley’s Point Primary in Bay Roberts.

There’s also $7.5 million put aside “to advance the replacement of the Waterford Hospital” although that money will likely just go to preliminary planning.

The five-year plan is part of the Liberal government’s push for longer-term planning.

Ball said that with better advanced planning, taxpayers get better value because contractors bidding can be more competitive if they know what to expect well in advance.

The announcement was held in the N.L. Construction Association office in St. John’s, and industry representatives were generally supportive of the Liberals’ approach.

Friday’s announcement of the “Building Forward”  plan was a pre-budget announcement ahead of the formal budget which is scheduled to be delivered on April 6.