TORONTO, Ont. — Ten highway improvement projects in Ontario were announced today as part of the federal government’s Strategic Highway Infrastructure Program (SHIP) program.
The federal and provincial governments will each contribute $168 million (for a total $336 million) to completing the projects over the next six years. The news was greeted enthusiastically by Ontario Trucking Association president David Bradley.
"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.”
Bradley went on to say "OTA has always taken the position that the border begins at the shipper’s gate and ends at the receivers loading dock. Improvements to the highways leading to the border are as important as improvements to the processing at the border itself.”
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.
Bradley congratulated federal Transport Minister David Collenette, Infrastructure Minister Allan Rock, and their provincial counterparts, Transportation Minister Harinder Takhar and Minister of Public Infrastructure Renewal David Caplan, for being able to negotiate 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.
"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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