Trans Canada Highway Extension - Frequently Asked Questions

Why is a Trans Canada Highway Extension necessary at this time?

Since the mid 1990s, Cornwall town council, on behalf of residents and businesses, has been asking government to reroute the Trans-Canada Highway outside the town in order to improve public safety and assist economic growth.

This completed project will ease traffic flow by redirecting thousands of tractor-trailers and cars that currently pass through the town every day. 

The new route will make travel safer for both highway users and residents of the Cornwall area. From 2009 to 2013, there were 159 collisions along the stretch of TCH that will be rerouted as the Trans Canada Highway Extension.  New roundabouts and interchanges will reduce the likelihood of accidents at intersections along this road. 

What consultations have happened up to now? Will the public be consulted as this project moves forward?

Since announcing plans to construct the Trans Canada Highway Extension, the department has conducted a number of information sessions - for businesses in Cornwall and along the proposed highway way route; for property owners in the vicinity of all routes being considered for the highway; and again for affected property owners once a preferred route was selected.

In addition, public information sessions have been held for both phases of the proposed Trans Canada Highway Extension.

The Department will utilize this website to post information as it becomes available regarding the Trans Canada Highway Extension project.  At this time, early in the design phase, plans are still somewhat flexible and change – based on public input – is possible. 

Additionally, as part of the environmental assessment the public and affected landowners will have an opportunity to make submissions about the highway project and its possible effects.

What effect will this project have on the Town of Cornwall?

The Town of Cornwall has been active in advocating for construction of a new perimeter highway. The town anticipates a number of positive effects which include:  development opportunities, decreased traffic and speed, as well as improved access within the Town to subdivision streets and facilities such as the Terry Fox centre. 

Has there been any analysis on the effect of this highway project on commercial businesses within the Town of Cornwall? 

A socio-economic analysis will be completed as part of the provincial environmental assessment process.

Why is the Department not constructing a 2nd crossing across the North River?

A second crossing would be extremely expensive and environmentally sensitive. The current TCH from Upton Road through to North River intersection has had millions of dollars worth of improvements since 1994 and has no capacity issues related to the roadway. Intersection improvements (roundabouts) will improve traffic flow through these areas at a much reduced cost.

On average, bridges range in the order of $4500 to $5500 per square meter of bridge deck area. The proposed bridge would have been 900 m (≈ 3000 ft.) long by 14 metres (46 ft.) wide. Deck area would be 12,600 m2 at an average cost of $5000 per square metre, the estimated cost is $63,000,000. Once you factor in engineering and contingencies, it comes up to $ 65 million.

Why is a roundabout, rather than signal lights, being installed at the North River intersection? Why is the Department constructing the North River roundabout in 2017, in advance of the Trans Canada Highway Extension construction? 

Numerous studies have shown that there is an inherent benefit to roundabouts and they offer increased safety versus traffic signals.

Cornwall is planning to carry out water main upgrades along the TCH from the North River intersection down to just west of the bridge. The department thought it would be prudent to conduct its work in conjunction with the town in order to minimize traffic disruption.

How will the department deal with noise caused by construction and by traffic along the new highway?

Our department will undertake an assessment of current noise levels, along with a predictive model of future noise levels. Based on results of the assessments, the department will develop recommendations for measures to reduce noise.

In its design process, the department will consider the potential for moving the highway further away from housing. 

This project will create quite a bit of dust. How can that be reduced?

The Department will identify measures to be carried out during construction to reduce dust associated with construction. These measures will include the application of water to reduce dust.

How will government determine the value offered for properties that are purchased for this project? Will all property owners be treated equitably?

Government will negotiate fairly with individual property owners, in a confidential, respectful manner.  Government will follow a land acquisition policy that assures owners receive a price based on the market value of their property. 

The public has identified concerns about increased traffic on the Cornwall Road, is traffic increase a concern for the Department and what should be done to address these concerns?  What will the impact of this project be on the other roads it crosses – Baltic Road, Bannockburn Road and Linwood Road?

The department will review the traffic counts on the Cornwall Road currently and post construction. We will monitor this closely and evaluate the need for improvements to this road shortly after the perimeter highway is complete.

An interchange will be built at the intersection of the highway and Cornwall Road in order to alleviate traffic on the Kingston Road/Warren Grove Road as well as to reduce traffic travelling in front of East Wiltshire School.

The Linwood Road is currently classified as a seasonal, unpaved road.  The Department does not intend to upgrade the Linwood Road. 

Baltic Road and Bannockburn Road will be crossed by overpasses but will not have direct access to the new highway.

Residents of nearby properties would like the opportunity for a meeting with officials from the Department. Will people be able to talk about how this project may impact them in terms of property values, safe road access and interruptions due to the construction project? 

In the next phase of this project, the environmental assessment phase, the Department will broaden the definition of “affected landowners.” We are committed to listening to people impacted by the project. 

The Department is hearing from individuals and groups and is certainly willing and open to meet and discuss issues and concerns with those individuals and groups.

A socio-economic analysis will be completed as part of the provincial environmental assessment process.

How will the Department compensate for the loss of wetlands affected by this project? 

The Department will follow the Provincial Policy on Wetland Conservation.  The provincial Department of Environment will assess the impact of the highway construction on wetlands within the corridor and determine the compensation required.   Additionally, the Department intends to work with local watershed groups to identify opportunities for cooperative work that will result in increasing fish and wildlife habitat. 

What type and size of a crossing will be installed on the Clyde River?  Is the existing structure on the TCH at Clyde River currently allowing 100% of the tide to pass?  Has there been any modelling done and will there be?

The type of structures across Clyde River has yet to be determined. The department sizes all new structures to allow for 100 % tidal passage as well as surface run-off from a 1 in 100 year rainfall event adapted for climate change. There have been no perceived issues with the current Clyde River structure to date.

Published date: 
September 26, 2016
Transportation, Infrastructure and Energy

General Inquiries

Department of Transportation, Infrastructure and Energy
3rd Floor, Jones Building
11 Kent Street,
P.O. Box 2000,
Charlottetown, PE C1A 7N8

Phone: 902-368-5100
Fax: 902-368-5395

Highway Safety/Access PEI Inquiries: accesspeicharlottetown@gov.pe.ca

Road-Related Inquiries: roads@gov.pe.ca

All other TIE inquiries: 

DeptTIE@gov.pe.ca

Report Transportation Problems