MTO truckstop retrofit project in cruise control

CORNWALL, Ont. — The service centers along Ontario’s 400-series highways are a tiny bit closer to being refurbished. But don’t hit the turn signal yet; they’re a long ways from being open for business.

Since 2007, The Ontario Ministry of Transportation (MTO) has been in the process of retrofitting 23 service centers in the Windsor, Barrie and the Quebec Border Triangle. 

Last week, the MTO finally announced that is has reached an agreement with a company called Kilmer Service Centres Inc., which will refurbish and assume operation of the centers.

So, according to a Ministry spokesman, construction can probably begin this fall. The final schedule and estimated time for completion will be announced once contract details have been hammered out.

Anyone who has driven along any part of those highways recently knows what a mess the situation is. So do the hundreds of service staff who’ve been left unemployed and idle since the leases expired.

The Ministry predicts the retrofit will generate about 2,500 construction jobs as well as some economic activity. Some of the truckstops are completely closed; some you can only get fuel and a bathroom break; and some others are still operating normally.

The goal is to have full-service, around-the-clock operations at all the truckstops, as soon as possible.

While you’re waiting — hopefully, not with your back-teeth floating — the MTO is erecting signs along the routes directing drivers to other nearby 24-hour service centers.

Service stations slated for redevelopment, include:

Bainsville, Morrisburg, Tilbury South, Tilbury North, West Lorne, Trenton North, Dutton, Trenton, Mallorytown North, Mallorytown South, Ingleside, Woodstock, Port Hope, Odessa, Napanee, Barrie, Cookstown King City, Cambridge North, Cambridge South, Newcastle, Ingersoll, and Maple.

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