New Berens River Bridge Will Benefit First Nations
McGuinty Government Invests In Safer Travel, Stronger Local Economy
A new bridge over the Berens River will increase the number of days that the existing seasonal ice road network can be used by several First Nations in the Far North.
The province is providing the Sandy Lake First Nation with $158,000 to assist with bridge design, surveying, environmental assessments and other steps required before construction can begin. The funding is being provided through the Northern Ontario Heritage Fund Corporation (NOHFC).
Currently, the river can only crossed safely when winter ice conditions permit. The bridge crossing will support future all-weather access to local communities as well as the development of mining, forestry and tourism opportunities
Winter roads are an economical way to move people, goods and equipment into and between Northern Ontario's remote First Nations that are limited to air transportation access during the rest of the year. They also help reduce travel and transportation costs for residents and local businesses.
- The province invested $18 million in the construction and maintenance of the winter road system since 2004-05, including $4 million this year.
- Sandy Lake First Nation is an Oji-Cree First Nation with a population of more than 2,100 located 227 kilometres northeast of Red Lake, Ontario.
“Our government is actively supporting First Nation communities in advancing infrastructure that will promote economic development and job creation.”
“This investment will benefit eight First Nations in the area by improving access to the communities and supporting the development of mining, forestry and tourism opportunities.”