CALGARY, September 22, 2005 – The Council of Ministers responsible for Transportation and Highway Safety agreed today at their meeting in Calgary to expand the National Highway System (NHS), following a report and recommendations by the National Highway System Review Task Force.

The Task Force was led by Transport Canada and the New Brunswick Department of Transportation, with participation by all federal, provincial and territorial transportation departments.

Approximately 4,500 kilometers of feeder routes and 5,900 kilometers of northern and remote routes are being added to the NHS, as well as approximately 500 kilometers of key intermodal connector routes.

“I would like to thank the members of the task force for their hard work,” said Transport Minister Jean-C. Lapierre, co-chair of the Council. “These roads are being added because they are of strategic importance to Canada, its provinces and regions as they keep people and goods moving efficiently, effectively and safely.”

“This expansion will result in an even better highway system for the benefit of all provinces and territories,” said Minister of Alberta Infrastructure and Transportation Dr. Lyle Oberg, co-chair of the Council. “The expanded highway system will help increase safety on our roads, which is a priority for the Council.”

Canada’s NHS was established in 1988 and consists of a 24,500 kilometer network of key interprovincial and international highway linkages.

In September 2004, the Council of Ministers approved the addition of 2700 kilometers of new routes to the NHS, as a result of a study undertaken by Transport Canada, to reflect changes that have occurred in Canada’s population, economy and trading patterns since 1988.

The expanded NHS agreed upon today encompasses 38,021 kilometers of key highway linkages in three categories:

  • Core Routes
    Key interprovincial and international corridor routes (the original 1988 NHS routes, the September 2004 additions, and links to key intermodal facilities and major border crossings which connect with “core” routes)
  • Feeder Routes
    Key linkages to the Core Routes from population and economic centres (including links to intermodal facilities and important border crossings)
  • Northern and Remote Routes
    Key linkages to Core and Feeder routes that provide the primary means of access to northern and remote areas, economic activities and resources.

Download Report (PDF format): National Highway System Review – Task Force Report

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