Nova Scotia drivers and taxpayers will benefit from improved road surfaces and extended pavement life as a result of five highway maintenance contracts awarded by the province. The Department of Transportation and Public Works awarded contracts for concrete patching, crack filling, sealing and coating on highways in six counties. The projects are: Hants County — 16 kilometres on Route 202 from the intersection of Trunk 1 to the intersection of Trunk 14, and on Trunk 14 from the Nine Mile River Bridge north for 9.3 kilometres to Cheese Factory Corner. The contract was awarded to Dexter Construction Co. Ltd. with a bid of $624,801. Lunenburg and Kings counties — 31.8 kilometres of sand resealing on various roads in Lunenburg County and 25.1 kilometres on various roads in Kings County. This contract was also awarded to Dexter Construction with a bid of $435,300. Guysborough County — on Trunk 7 from the Halifax-Guysborough County line east for 13.7 kilometres. The contract was awarded to Industrial Cold Milling Limited with a bid of $361,250. Colchester County — on Trunk 4 from the carpool parking lot at Exit 17 off Highway 104, east for 4.2 kilometres to the intersection of East Mountain Road; on Stewiacke River Park Road from the intersection of Alton Road for 2.7 kilometres to the Stewiacke River Park gate; and on Marney Road, from Irwin Lake Road south for 2.4 kilometres to the end of the road. The contract was awarded to Industrial Cold Milling Limited with a bid of $189,320. Pictou County — on Route 374 from the Stellarton town line south for 5.4 kilometres. The contract was awarded to Moncton Construction Inc. with a bid of $139,821. The five contracts total 110.6 kilometres of improved roads with a total value of $1,750,492. “Maintaining these roads will prevent larger construction costs later on,” said Michael Baker, acting Minister of Transportation and Public Works. “The projects are essential to protect these sections of road and make them safer for drivers.” The Department of Transportation and Public Works’ highways division manages more than 23,000 kilometres of roads in Nova Scotia. It maintains 4,100 bridges and operates seven provincial ferries. Staff provide services from district offices in Bridgewater, Bedford, Truro and Sydney.