McGuinty Government Unveils Record Funding For Northern Highways
Annual Investment In Highway Rehabilitation And Expansion Approaches Half Billion-Dollar Mark
SUDBURY - The McGuinty government is investing all-time record funding in the 2007-08 Northern Highways Program, Northern Development and Mines Minister Rick Bartolucci announced today.
"Another record investment speaks to our government's commitment to ensure that northern transportation infrastructure is safe and efficient," said Bartolucci. "Every dollar put into highways is an investment in the economic development of Northern Ontario, in the growth of our communities and in the creation of new jobs."
The government is investing a record $468 million to expand and upgrade the nearly 11,000-kilometre highway network in Northern Ontario through its Northern Highways Program. An increase of 30 per cent over last year, this investment will help increase highway safety, support economic development and improve access to major communities in the North.
Program highlights include:
- A $20-million increase in funding for rehabilitation projects throughout the North
- A new package of significant safety enhancements along Highway 17 between Thunder Bay and Kenora
- The planned completion of major highway expansion projects on Highway 17 east of Sault Ste. Marie and Highway 11-17 west of Thunder Bay.
Completion of four-laning of Highway 11 to North Bay by 2012, and Highway 69 by 2017 also remains on track.
"I am pleased that our government continues putting a high priority on the expansion and rehabilitation of the North's network of highways," said Transportation Minister Donna Cansfield. "Better highways improve safety, create jobs and foster prosperity throughout Northern Ontario."
"Infrastructure is an integral element of the Growth Plan for Northern Ontario being developed under the Places to Grow Act in consultation with northerners," said Minister of Public Infrastructure Renewal David Caplan. "We look forward to working with Aboriginal and municipal leaders, business, industry and environmental groups over the coming months to develop a Growth Plan for the North."
The commitment to expanding and rehabilitating northern highways was set out in ReNew Ontario, the province's five-year strategic infrastructure investment plan that will help prepare for future growth. The Ontario government is renewing and expanding vital infrastructure as part of its Northern Prosperity Plan. The plan is founded on four key pillars: Strengthening the North and its Communities; Listening to and Serving Northerners Better; Competing Globally; and Providing Opportunities for All.