Design work begins on Highway 17 parking

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TORONTO, ON – The Government of Ontario is looking for feedback into ways to expand and improve rest stops and roadside pulls-offs in Northern Ontario over the next 25 years.

Feedback on the Draft 2041 Northern Ontario Multimodal Transportation Strategy, which can be read here, will be accepted until September 15.

Three existing rest areas have been identified as a priority for renovations, according to the report:

  • 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)


Additionally, the report outlines a plan to make roads safer for large vehicles in the event of unanticipated road closures. The report aims to identify more decision points along northern highways that are prone to closure, and increase areas where heavy trucks and large recreational vehicles can turn back.

Ontario Trucking Association also reports the Government of Ontario has already begun to work on the detailed design and environmental assessment for a rest area on Highway 17, about 1.3 kilometers from the Manitoba border.

The Ontario Ministry of Transportation is looking at adding parking spots, improving lighting, and introducing another entrance at the west end to improve traffic flow. The Ontario Trucking Association, meanwhile, is looking for feedback on things such as design features that would be welcome.

“OTA views this project as a good first step in addressing rest facilities for drivers in Northwestern Ontario,” the association said in a newsletter earlier today. “It is expected over the course of the next year additional projects will be announced to address the truck parking issues step by step in other locations in Northern Ontario. OTA members with input on truck parking in Northern Ontario or on this project in particular, can provide specific details to operations&

For those wanting to offer feedback on the government’s draft strategy, the questionnaire can be found here.  

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John G. Smith is Newcom Media's vice-president - editorial, and the editorial director of its trucking publications -- including Today's Trucking,, and Transport Routier. The award-winning journalist has covered the trucking industry since 1995.

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