MTO continues Hwy 17 expansion designs

SAULT Ste. MARIE, Ont. — Design plans on a proposed four-lane Hwy 17 link through Batchewana First Nation near Sault Ste. Marie will go ahead before negotiations with community leaders is complete.

According to the Sault Star, Ontario’s Ministry of Transportation announced its plan last week to begin a preliminary design study for the stretch of roadway that would link directly with Second Line East by travelling through Batchewana’s Rankin Reserve.

In a response to the newspaper, MTO said it wants to design a highway that is acceptable to Batchewana First Nation while minimizes the impacts to the community. But it’s” necessary to enter into the preliminary design process to determine this.”

Negotiations between the MTO and Batchewana resumed in the fall and Batchewana has since begun consulting with its members to gauge support for the project.

The section under negotiation would begin at Second Line East, travel through Batchewana First Nation and link up to an existing 28-kilometre section of four-lane highway between the Sault and Barr River.

— from the Sault Star

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