The provincial government took another step towards centralizing its highway maintenance facility in Brackley.
Salt and sand operations have moved out to new storage facilities at the Queens County Garage this week.
There are approximately 19,000 tonnes of sand stored on the site, enough to supply the needs of Charlottetown and the surrounding area through a typical winter.
A salt storage building on site will hold about 8,000 tonnes of salt.
This is regularly replenished with 20,000 to 25,000 tonnes used through the winter by the province's maintenance operations and by the street maintenance operations of the City of Charlottetown.
RELATED: Brackley council welcomes government garage
Transportation Minister Paula Biggar said the second phase of construction of the new garage and storage facilities is finished.
"My department will now have its materials storage area completely located in Brackley and that the material storage facilities on Acadian Drive near the Queen Elizabeth Hospital can be gradually closed or repurposed," said Biggar.
"Putting these facilities at a new location will make them accessible for all users, free up real estate in the city centre and allow us to modernize facilities to meet our operations needs and environmental goals."
The opening of the materials depot marks the completion of the first two phases of the provincial garage project that will eventually see the Queens County garages, vehicle maintenance facilities and material storage centralized in a single location.
The new facility is located at 355 Brackley Point Road, across from the Coca-Cola plant, not far past the airport roundabout.
The province purchased about 80 acres of property for the project.
The entire project is expected to take five years to complete and will eventually include an administration building, maintenance garage and materials storage, sand and salt storage, brine station, bridge yard and component storage, culvert storage, sign yard, road and site preparation materials storage, heavy equipment storage and school bus parking and storage.
Even though it's located in the municipality of Brackley, the City of Charlottetown supplies water and sewer service.
The province is paying a 25 per cent premium to the city as a surcharge.
A plan on what happens with the old government garage property will need to be in place by 2019.
It could become the site of a new multi-purpose arena.
A committee is expected to be formed soon to begin the process of replacing Eastlink Centre, which is now more than 20 years old.