Province puts brakes on four-laning Hwy 17
Four-laning takes a backseat to building bridges and paving across northern Ontario
Posted: Jan 31, 2013 2:55 PM ET
Last Updated: Jan 31, 2013 2:32 PM ET
The Ontario government is going to stop studying the four-laning of Highway 17 for at least the next five years.
That means actual construction of a new and safer highway between Sault Ste. Marie and Mattawa has been pushed into the distant future.
Putting the study off is not good news for Markstay-Warren Mayor Sonja Flynn, who said almost everyone in her town knows someone who died on Highway 17.Due to a lack of financial resources, the province will not proceed with four-laning Highway 17. (Yvon Theriault/Radio-Canada)
The highway has been studied enough already, she said, adding that she wants the province to just pick a route and then build it.
"I would like to see them set timeframes for completion rather than just putting it on the shelf, with the excuse that there's no money.”
The province said it doesn't even have the money to study where the highway should go, since studying just a 40-kilometre stretch can cost as much as $3 million.
'Only so many resources'
Gordan Rennie from the Ministry of Transportation said once the five ongoing Highway 17 studies wrap up, those dollars will instead be spent on new pavement and bridges.
"There are only so many resources and we are in a period of constraint,” Rennie said.
“So we're using the staff we have and maximizing what we're able to deliver."
Even when these route planning studies are done, construction follows 20 or 30 years later, he noted.
That means it could be a few generations before northerners drive on a four-lane Highway 17.
“There's a lot of highways in northeastern Ontario … a lot of pavement, a lot of bridges, a lot of culverts ... to keep the system up to the good standard that the public expects,” Rennie said.
Sault Ste. Marie Liberal MPP David Orazietti campaigned last year for Highway 17 to be four-laned through northern Ontario. He did not return phone calls for this story.
Latest Sudbury News Headlines
- Council pushes for interim plan for displaced cabbies
- Sudbury is reconsidering the way it licenses cabs, now that a single cab company has been chosen to offer ground service at the Greater Sudbury Airport. more »
- Youth face charges after joy ride on horseback
- An unexpected double-double appeared outside the Tim Horton's at Lasalle Boulevard and Notre Dame Avenue in New Sudbury Tuesday morning. more »
- Work continues on 'slam dunk' mall collapse lawsuit
- The Elliot Lake Public Inquiry is taking a break, but work on a related law suit continues. more »
- Former McGuinty staffer grilled about gas plants
- A former top aide to ex-premier Dalton McGuinty fended off allegations today that senior Liberal staffers were directed to delete emails about two cancelled Toronto-area power plants as part of a cost coverup. more »
Top News Headlines
- Most groups don't want return of Trudeau speaking fees
- Most of the 17 charitable and other organizations that have paid speaking fees to Liberal Leader Justin Trudeau during his time as an MP say they aren't interested in having their fees returned, despite Trudeau's offer on the weekend to reimburse any organization unhappy with his services. more »
- Are e-cigarettes safe to puff?
- As electronic or e-cigarettes grow in popularity, some health advocates want them to be regulated. more »
- Canada to send peacekeeping troops to Haiti
- A handful of Canadian troops are about to take part in peacekeeping operation in Haiti, under the command of Brazilian forces, in a long-delayed mission that has been kept inexplicably low on the political radar. more »
- Google asks secret court to lift gag on surveillance
- Google is asking the secretive Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court to lift its long-standing gag order on how often the company is asked to turn over data about its customers to the U.S. government. more »