10/31/2013 07:31 EDT | Updated 01/23/2014 06:58 EST

Controversial Prince Edward Island highway almost complete; opens to traffic

CHARLOTTETOWN - A realignment of the Trans Canada Highway in Prince Edward Island that drew fierce opposition from environmental groups is almost complete and is open to traffic.

The provincial transportation minister said yesterday the highway between Bonshaw Bridge and New Haven is paved, and motorists are able to use the road.

The province says the 6.1-kilometre Trans Canada Highway realignment increases safety by improving sight lines, eliminating sharp curves and reducing the overall grade of the highway.

In the fall of 2012 protesters attempted to block the construction project.

Aboriginal groups and environmentalists argued it was resulting in the destruction of forests and infringing on private land.

A number of the protesters were later fined for trespassing.