Nova Scotia is replacing the old Highway 102/103 interchange near Halifax's Bayers Lake Business Park.
The banged-up overpass with rusty railings that ties the highways together has long been in need of repair or replacement. On Wednesday, the federal government said it will contribute $9.4 million and the province will pay $10.6 million toward the project.
Bernadette Jordan, the MP for South Shore-St. Margarets, said it will widen the interchange and improve access. The plan is to build it around the existing interchange. Work should start in January 2018 and end fall 2019.
"The Prospect Road interchange overpass is a major junction in and out of the Halifax peninsula. It is used by thousands of people every day. The new interchange will increase safety by providing a modern structure on which to drive and smoother transitions onto the highways," she said.
Iain Rankin, the MLA for the area, said the new interchange will be built to handle growth.
"This interchange is located in an area where HRM is seeing the most growth. It is used by almost every HRM resident," Rankin said.
Old road 'very hard' on vehicles
The old interchange will stay open until the new one is finished.
John Cascadden has used the bridge for 20 years. "It's been in need of repair for a long time. The expansion joints are very hard on vehicle suspensions and there are safety issues involved," he said after Wednesday's announcement.
He added that Nova Scotia's low population density and widespread infrastructure makes maintaining it a challenge.
"There are potholes that are still out there from last year," he said. "The existing infrastructure needs to be proactively addressed. It's very hard to repair something when it gets to a certain state. It's not longer maintainable; it has to be replaced. This bridge is an example of that."