The main reason for the twinning is to provide a safer drive, is it not? A four lane divided highway would be infinitely safer than driving the 126. For anyone who lives in the area they may still prefer to use the smaller, local roads, but for tourists/people from outside of the area, the four lane highway would definitely be more appealing.
The argument I heard from a friend of mine in Bathurst is the build it and they will come model
. His argument was that a four lane highway north to Miramichi would spur tourist activity and transport north, primarily on the new highway. Build a four lane highway north and the tourists will keep driving it rather than stopping in Shediac and turning around. I'm not really sure if I buy into this, and to be frank it might look dumb in twenty years when we have a divided four lane highway to literally the middle of nowhere. At the same time the highway enthusiast in me wants to see a better developed highway system.
I'd still much prefer Highway 7 be fully twinned rather than 11, but beggars can't be choosers.