SAULT STE. MARIE, Ont. – The Ontario Ministry of Transportation (MTO) and the Ministry of Northern Development and Mines (MNDM) recently released a draft strategy to help guide transportation policies and infrastructure in northern Ontario for the next 25 years.
According to the draft, “A well-planned rest area can serve both as a stop for commercial vehicles and passenger buses complying with federal hours-of-service regulations, and as information centres about natural and cultural points of interest. Given the diverse range of highway users in northern Ontario, rest areas that provide basic amenities are needed at strategic locations. Currently, there are long stretches along the TransCanada Highway in northern Ontario with no yearround rest areas that provide basic amenities to travellers.”
The MTO and MNDM named three rest areas as priority areas for improvement:
Highway 17, 1.3 km east of the Ontario-Manitoba Border
Highway 11, 8.0 km east of Hwy 663 (west of Hearst)
Highway 144, at junction with Highway 560 (Watershed)
According to the action plan, these rest areas will be improved upon by the MTO and MNDM with help from municipal and private sector partners to “strategically address gaps in fuel service station locations along the TransCanada Highway” and “local businesses to explore opportunities for improving or extending existing services and amenities that can improve the driving experience of motorists.”
The MTO and MNDM is requesting feedback from residents and stakeholders interested in northern Ontario. You can submit your comments by taking the online questionnaire here.