$20M Connecting Links Funding Will Repair Municipal Roads, Bridges
Barrie One of 23 Municipalities Receiving Funding
Ontario is providing $20 million in 2016-17 to municipalities across the province through the Connecting Links program to make roads and bridges safer, create economic growth, and create or sustain jobs.
Premier Kathleen Wynne announced this funding in Barrie today with Transportation Minister Steven Del Duca. The City of Barrie will receive $675,000 to rehabilitate part of its connecting link on Highway 26 -- a one-kilometre section of Bayfield Street from Livingstone Street to the city limit.
Connecting links are municipal roads or bridges that connect two ends of a provincial highway through a community, or to a border crossing. The province is providing $20 million to 23 municipalities to repair these connecting links. Funding for the Connecting Links Program will increase to $25 million in 2017-18 and $30 million in 2018-19.
Ontario is making the largest investment in public infrastructure in the province's history -- about $160 billion over 12 years for projects such as roads, bridges, transit systems, schools and hospitals. This investment is supporting 110,000 jobs every year across the province. In 2015, the government announced support for more than 325 projects that will keep people and goods moving, connect communities and improve quality of life.
Investing in infrastructure is part of the government's economic plan to build Ontario up and deliver on its number-one priority to grow the economy and create jobs. The four-part plan includes investing in talent and skills, including helping more people get and create the jobs of the future by expanding access to high-quality college and university education. The plan is making the largest investment in public infrastructure in Ontario's history and investing in a low-carbon economy driven by innovative, high-growth, export-oriented businesses. The plan is also helping working Ontarians achieve a more secure retirement.
- There are about 350 kilometres of roads and 70 bridges along connecting links in 77 municipalities across Ontario.
- The Connecting Links program was launched last November, and applications were received early this year. Successful applicants will receive funding starting this spring.
- Connecting Links funding covers up to 90 percent of eligible project costs, to a maximum of $3 million. The eligible costs are for the design, construction, renewal, rehabilitation and replacement of connecting link infrastructure.
- A recent report by the Broadbent Institute and the Centre for Spatial Economics found that, on average, investing $1 in public infrastructure in Canada raises GDP by $1.43 in the short term and up to $3.83 in the long term.
“Municipal roads and bridges that connect to provincial highways are crucial links between economies and communities. Our investment through Connecting Links in Highway 26 in Barrie — and in 22 other communities across Ontario — will help improve productivity, create or sustain jobs, and make our roads and bridges safer.”
“Our Connecting Links program is one way we show our long-term commitment to Ontario’s rural and northern communities and to the families who live there. These highways are essential links in many communities, connecting people to jobs, managing local congestion and improving the economy and residents’ quality of life.”
Steven Del Duca