worthington road, sudbury

Millions of dollars worth of repairs to Sudbury roads this year could be paid for by mining companies.

The city is close to deals with three major local miners.

The first deal — expected to come before city council for approval early this year — is for the repaving of Worthington Road in the Whitefish area, which leads to both nickel miner Vale's Totten Mine and the Victoria property being developed by FNX.

The city expects the companies to pay for 75 per cent of the $15 million job.

Many Sudburians blame rumbling ore trucks for the poor shape of city roads. But Vale spokesperson Angie Robson said that isn't the company's motivation for this partnership.

"We feel we pay our fair share," she said. "How those taxes are used and distributed is really up to governments to decide."

Robson said Vale opened talks with the city after local residents expressed concern.

But Brian Burton from the Fairbank Lake Campers Association said fixing up Worthington Road will allow Vale to fully load its trucks all year round.

"It's a benefit to us, but at the same time they're doing it for their own selfish reasons to a certain extent."

The other deal in the works is also about truck traffic.

Xstrata and the city are looking at putting in a roundabout on the road into Falconbridge — that would mean mining trucks would go around the town, instead of straight through it.

Heather Fragomeni, owner of the convenience store in Falconbridge, said most people in the former company town aren't too bothered by the constant stream of mining trucks.

"I don't think it's a big issue," she said. "People just got used to the trucks. Some people might like it if there were no trucks around, but it's not a huge issue. It's part of Falconbridge life."