Minister of State for Transport Steven Fletcher jointly announced funding for 11 bridge rehabilitation projects Friday with local MPPS Bill Mauro and Michael Gravelle.
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The provincial and federal governments have come together to bridge the gap between eastern and western Canada.
Conservative Minister of State for Transport Steven Fletcher announced with local Liberal MPPs Bill Mauro and Michael Gravelle Friday a $61.3 million investment for 11 bridge rehabilitation projects in Northern Ontario.
A total of 16 bridges, 14 in the Northwest, will be rehabilitated within the next two years.
“Bridges need to be maintained,” Fletcher said Friday at the Thunder Bay Ministry of Transportation of Ontario office.
The road links the bridges provide connect western Canada to eastern Canada, Fletcher said.
“It’s vital for our economy. It’s vital for the residents of the area that the bridges are well-maintained,” he said, adding he appreciates the input from Mauro and Gravelle on which bridges were in need of investment.
“It’s levels of government working together for the greater good and I think that’s what people expect,” said Fletcher.
The bridges scheduled for repair in the region are on Highways 11, 17, 71 and 61 including $3.42 million for the Pine River Bridge on Highway 61.
Mauro said bridge and highway infrastructure is important for everyone in Northwestern Ontario.
“It’s about safety. It’s about rideability. It’s about keeping the economy moving,” said Mauro, noting there will be significant job creation with these projects.
Bridges need to be a priority in regions like the Northwest, said Mauro.
“Our roads system, if you have bridge failures, doesn’t allow as many options as other areas of the province so in order to keep east-west traffic moving, it’s really important that we maintain sound bridge infrastructure here in Northwestern Ontario,” he said.
Highway infrastructure in Ontario is vital and the needs are significant, said Gravelle.
“Those are expensive and they need some time to get done, so this kind of cautionary agreement between the federal and provincial governments is extremely important,” he said.
Here is a complete list of the bridge projects:
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French River and Pickerel River Bridges on Highway 11, $9.137 million
Melgund River and Nugget Creek Bridges on Highway 17, $7.228 million
Blackwater River Bridge on Highway 11, $7 million
Gulliver River Bridge on Highway 17, $7 million
Englehart River and Aidie Creek Bridges on highway 11, $6.65 million
Big Firesteel River and Beaver Creek bridges on Highway 17, $6.629 million
Cypress and Little Gravel River Bridges on Highway 17, $6.4 million
Pine River Bridge on Highway 61, $3.42 million
CPR Selim Overhead on Highway 17, $3.4 million
CPR Overhead on Highway 17, $2.707 million
Log River Tributary Culvert on Highway 71, $1.742 million