Two-thirds of properties purchased for TCH reroute

Transportation officials on P.E.I. say they have purchased or have agreements to purchase about two-thirds of the 32 properties needed for a major realignment of the Trans-Canada Highway at Bonshaw.

There are still nine properties in the area where owners have not yet agreed to sell.

The highway project has been a controversial one because people wanted public consultation on the project. About 350 people were on the steps of the provincial legislature during a protest back in April.

Though the project has met with resistance from some area residents and the Island Nature Trust, a traffic safety engineer has said the reroute is critical for preventing crashes on the dangerous stretch of road.

Construction on the $22 million highway project is expected to begin in late September.

The province says it hopes to be in possession of all the properties by the end of August. It has set aside close to $4 million for the land deals.