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Twinning highway between Azilda and Chelmsford by end of 2018? Still possible, city councillors say

Couns. Evelyn Dutrisac and Gerry Montpellier are renewing efforts to solidify plans for the twinning of the highway between Azilda and Chelmsford, Ont., before the 2018 municipal election.

Rayside-Balfour waiting for Municipal Road 35 four-laning since 1999, according to Coun. Evelyn Dutrisac

Greater Sudbury Municipal Road 35 at the point where it narrows down to two lanes between Azilda and Chelmsford. (Erik White/CBC)

Couns. Evelyn Dutrisac and Gerry Montpellier are renewing their efforts to solidify plans for the twinning of the highway between Azilda and Chelmsford, Ont., before the 2018 municipal election. 

The community of Rayside-Balfour has been expecting Municipal Road 35 to be four-landed ever ever since slots were installed at Sudbury Downs in 1999, according to Dutrisac, adding that the city's gaming revenue should go towards widening the street.

"We understand that infrastructure is what our residents want," Dutrisac said.

"MR 35 is an important part of that infrastructure and we need to do it by 2018, so let's go and do it."

Cost of project estimated around $40M: Dutrisac

Rehabilitation work is supposed to take place on the street this summer, but the lanes will not be widened.

Montpellier and Dutrisac said they have council's support for the proposed project, but seismic and geographical studies still need to happen before the city can break ground.

"I, like everybody else, thought they're going to go out there, throw a couple of lanes on it and so forth," Montpellier said. 

"But it's a major reconstruction project."

The cost to widen the highway is estimated to be around $40 million, according to Dutrisac.

The two-lane stretch of Municipal Road 35 runs in between backyards and a railroad track.

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