Feds, province fund more northwestern Ontario highway twinning
Work scheduled for 2018 and 2019 along Highway 11-17, between Thunder Bay and Nipigon, Ont.
The federal government is lending support to the ongoing effort to twin Highway 11-17 between Thunder Bay and Nipigon in northwestern Ontario.
On Friday, Ottawa announced it would contribute $83 million towards work to twin three sections of the highway:
- Coughlin Road westerly to Highway 582, with work beginning in 2019
- Coughlin Road easterly to Red Rock Road 9, with work beginning in 2019
- Highway 587 to Pearl Creek, with work beginning in 2018
Those stretches amount to about 26 kilometres of the Trans-Canada Highway.
"The interest in funding this is to support the province of Ontario as they continue to expand the highway ... to make a safer transportation corridor," Patty Hajdu, the MP for Thunder Bay - Superior North told CBC News. "And also to ensure [residents] have access to safe, reliable transportation that economic development for the north relies upon."
"It's really important to the region."
The total cost of expanding the three sections has yet to be determined, according to provincial officials; the remainder will be covered by Ontario.
Thunder Bay-Superior North MPP Michael Gravelle, a long-time proponent of twinned highways in the region, said the province is grateful for the support from the federal government.
He said the funding "will help us move the project along far more quickly ... so it's very gratefully received."
Hajdu added that as twinning efforts continue along that stretch of Highway 11-17, Ottawa may be a willing partner again.
"Provinces and communities set their priorities and we support those priorities as long as they sort of fall within [stated federal goals]," she said.
"Clearly this is one of those areas that is very aligned with our vision of a prosperous country."