NEW MINAS, N.S. – The new Granite Drive interchange is now open for use in New Minas.
The new road system was officially opened Dec. 17, allowing drivers to use the interchange and roundabouts to travel directly from Highway 101 – taking exit 11A, located between exits 11 in Greenwich, and 12 just before Kentville – to Commercial Street in New Minas.
The new roadwork includes a bridge, four ramps forming a diamond interchange and three roundabouts.
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Kings County Coun. Jim Winsor, who serves the New Minas and Greenwich areas, says the project means people will now be able to enjoy “better traffic flow” while shopping within New Minas.
“If you were coming into downtown from east or west, then [you would previously take] exit 11 or 12 then very busy Highway 1. With the exit open, you can now drive down right into the shopping area,” he says.
“I have heard many times, certainly around Christmas, people have said they wouldn’t drive down there. We want shoppers in New Minas, but we want a good flow of traffic to allow them easy in and out.”
This opening follows the Department of Transportation and Infrastructure Renewal’s original plans to have the interchange finalized for the 2018 Christmas shopping season.
The project cost a total $17 million and received more than $9 million in provincial contributions and $7.6 million from the federal government.
New Minas is also celebrating 50 years since incorporation this year, and Winsor says the new interchange and other business expansions “all bode well for the future of New Minas.”
He says the interchange specifically is paving the way for new business and further development in the village near the highway.
“It opens up, also, the other side of Highway 101, which is the expansion area for New Minas. That makes this all accessible to future growth,” he says.