The new Sydney River Bridge on Keltic Drive will include a four-metre-wide active transportation lane for pedestrians and cyclists on its south side when it opens in 2014. Design work on the new bridge is underway and the tender to build the new bridge and demolish the old one will be called this spring. “Our government knows that the replacement of the Sydney River Bridge is an important job-creating infrastructure project,” said Peter MacKay, Minister of National Defence and Regional Minister for Nova Scotia. “Our government is proud to invest in initiatives that will provide transportation options for the residents of Sydney.” “Replacement of the Sydney River Bridge is a complex job at a busy location that includes demolition of the existing bridge,” said Frank Corbett, Deputy Premier. “The project will provide good paying jobs during construction and result in a long-lasting and useful crossing.” “The new bridge will enhance efforts by the Municipality to promote active transportation,” said Mayor Cecil Clarke of the Cape Breton Regional Municipality (CBRM). “It will have improved facilities for pedestrians and cyclists, and will be designed to link directly to the proposed Sydney River Multi Use Path, which will eventually link Sydney River to downtown Sydney. “The Sydney River Multi Use Path is still in the early planning stages, but the development of this pathway is one of the key recommendations of the CBRM Active Transportation Plan.” The present bridge carries about 7,700 vehicles a day but is nearing the end of its service life. It will be closed during construction and a detour route and shuttle service will help bridge users deal safely with the inconvenience of this necessary closure. The province consulted with emergency services and schools in the area regarding changes needed to help traffic flow smoothly and safely through the detour route. The detour will be less than five kilometres long. Details of the shuttle service will be announced closer to the date of the bridge closure. In addition to its active transportation lane the new bridge will have two regular driving lanes and no overhead obstructions. The total project, which is in the province’s 5-Year Highway Improvement Plan, is scheduled for completion in 2014 and will cost about $20 million. The province’s estimated cost is $14.6 million while the federal government has committed a maximum of $5.4 million. Federal funding is conditional on the project meeting all applicable federal eligibility and approval requirements under the Building Canada Fund and the signing of a contribution agreement with the province.
The Project on Capacity Building for Sustained Human Rights Treaty Reporting in Afghanistan was officially launched yesterday by Secretary-General Kofi Annan’s Special representative Jean Arnault and Afghan Foreign Minister Abdullah Abdullah at a ceremony held at the Foreign Ministry in Kabul, the capital.Mr. Arnault, speaking on behalf of UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Louise Arbour, expressed satisfaction at the Government’s decision to take a consolidated approach to human rights reporting, saying the decision reflected the Government’s commitment to the people of Afghanistan in protecting their human rights.Mr. Abdullah said Afghanistan had an obligation to implement the international human rights treaties it had become a party to and had to report to the UN treaty bodies on the state of implementation.The project was signed earlier in June between the UN Development Programme (UNDP) and the Canada International Development Agency, the main funding organization. In turn, the agreement on implementation of the 15-month project, with a budget of $297,619, was signed by the Government and UNDP on 4 August.
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