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Ontario announces $107 million contract for highway twinning project

 The contract, valued at $107 million, includes provincial and federal funding

THUNDER BAY – The Ontario government has awarded a contract to widen Highway 11/17 from two to four lanes between Thunder Bay and Nipigon that is planned to be complete by 2026 to Terranorth Construction and Engineering.

“Our government is taking action to ensure that we have safe corridors to travel for families and for goods and services across Northern Ontario. We’re here in Dorion today to announce a $70 million awarding of the contract to Teranorth to complete another major segment of the twinning of highway 11/17 starting from 587,” said Greg Rickford, Minister of Northern Development, Mines, Natural Resources and Forestry.

“When this is complete, more than 70 per cent of the stretch between Thunder Bay and Nipigon will be twinned. We understand the opportunity, this is about safety, it’s about the efficient movement of people and goods across our vast region.”

 The contract, valued at $107 million, includes $77 million in provincial funding and $30 million in federal funding and is planned to create or sustain approximately 750 direct or indirect construction jobs.

“In our region people travel long distances to reach neighbouring communities, whether it be to go to work, visit family or access services. Our Government is committed to ensuring they can get to their destination safely and with ease,” said the Honourable Patty Hajdu, Minister of Indigenous Services and Minister responsible for the Federal Economic Development Agency for Northern Ontario and Member of Parliament for Thunder Bay-Superior North.

“I am happy to see this project moving forward with the support of both the Government of Canada and the Province of Ontario. This is a critical project which will create jobs, reduce commute times and increase road safety.”

Teranorth Construction and Engineering will begin twinning the highway in the fall of this year with an expected completion date by 2026.

The scope of the work needed to be done to complete the long-awaited project include twinning 14.4 kilometres of Highway 11/17 starting east of Highway 587 easterly towards Nipigon, building two new bridges over Pearl River, realigning municipal road connections at West Loon Road/Mirror Lake Road, East Loon Road, Silver Lake Road and Road No. 5 South, two new concrete culverts at Oyster Creek, drainage improvements, and new lighting at new municipal road intersections and four to two-lane transitions.

Both Rickford and Hajdu stressed the importance of consultation with regional Indigenous Communities in every part of the process of this project.

“I think that it’s important to work with Indigenous communities on any project whether we’re talking about massive infrastructure builds like this or we’re talking about resource extraction or economy,” said Hajdu.

“Increasingly, we’re seeing governments of all levels and indeed the private sector understanding that this really needs to be collaborative and that Indigenous people do need to see economic benefits from major economic development initiatives.

Justin Hardy

About the Author: Justin Hardy

Justin Hardy is a reporter born and raised in the Northwest.
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