Feds, Ontario to fund $336 million for highway improvements; OTA applauds announcement

by Canadian Shipper

Transport Canada and Ontario’s Ministry of Transportation have signed an agreement to jointly fund, at $336 million, ten highway improvement projects in Ontario.

The announcement was greeted enthusiastically by Ontario Trucking Association President David Bradley, who congratulated the federal and provincial governments on the first federal-provincial highway funding agreement in seven years. The last time the federal government provided highway funding to Ontario was for the Highway 416 project in the mid ’90s, said the OTA.

This agreement is part of the $600 million Strategic Highway Infrastructure Program (SHIP) announced by federal Transport Minister David Collenette in April 2001.

“This federal contribution of $168 million from the Strategic Highway Infrastructure Program goes a long way to improving the overall condition of Ontario’s highways, with projects in southern, eastern, central and northern Ontario,” said Collenette.

“The expansion of the 401 from four lanes to six from Tilbury to Windsor is a major step forward for Ontario’s and Canada’s ability to trade with the US”, said Bradley. “The widening will not only improve capacity but also the safety of Canada’s vital trade link to the US,” he said.

In addition to widening the 401 to six lanes between Tilbury and Windsor, the money will be spent to widen the 401 near Kingston and Belleville, expand Highway 69 south of Sudbury, four-lane Highway 17 east of Sault Ste. Marie, building a new alignment of Highway 11/17 west of Thunder Bay.

“Clearly today’s announcement signals that a new era of federal-provincial co-operation in transportation planning and funding is possible”, Bradley said. “It’s very encouraging to see the federal and provincial governments finally working together”.

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