Federal, provincial funding announced for Pickle Lake Road Reconstruction project
Tim Brody - Editor
Federal and provincial funding will allow The Township of Pickle Lake to “see better flow of traffic and a secondary access point for emergency vehicles after reconstructing, regrading and widening a portion of a main road and connecting it to Highway 599,” Infrastructure Canada announced through a news release on July 15.
The Pickle Lake Road Reconstruction project is one of six road projects and one airport runway project in Northern Ontario receiving joint federal, provincial, municipal, and First Nations funding through the Investing in Canada infrastructure plan.
The Government of Canada is investing over $12.7 million in these projects through the Rural and Northern Communities Infrastructure Stream. The Government of Ontario is contributing more than $5.5 million, municipalities are contributing over $1.7 million towards the projects, while First Nations communities are contributing $443,979.
The announcement was made on July 15 in Manitouwadge by Patty Hajdu, Minister of Health and Member of Parliament for Thunder Bay–Superior North.
The funding breakdown for the $3.1 million Pickle Lake Road Reconstruction project will be: $1,878,750 - federal funding, $1,043,646 - provincial funding, and $213,854 – Municipal funding.
In a July 15 media release, The Corporation of The Township of Pickle Lake informed, “This funding will enable us to add a second access point to Pickle Lake, joining Airport Road to Highway 599 and resurface our current roadway.”
Infrastructure Canada further stated, “These upgrades will improve road safety, better the flow of traffic and provide a secondary access point for emergency responses. Wider, paved shoulders will also encourage safer active transportation.”
“We look forward to bringing the surface of the roads to a higher standard, while adding a much needed second access point to the community for safety measures. This highway link will also improve safety measures by lowering truck traffic in a school zone, improving patient transfer times to medivac services and allowing for future development of commercial and industrial businesses.
“We look forward to the economic development that will prosper from this project as well as improved measures of community safety,” the Township of Pickle Lake added.
“In the Township of Manitouwadge, a portion of the Manitouwadge Airport runway, apron, and taxiway will be resurfaced with new asphalt. Further upgrades include new traffic symbols and safety markings to offer passengers a more reliable service.
“The remaining projects will see upgrades to major roads in six communities. Biigtigong Nishnaabeg will widen, repave, upgrade drainage and replace a culvert on a major road to make travelling safer for motorists and pedestrians.
“Kiashke Zaaging Anishinaabek (Gull Bay First Nation) will make road improvements to the reserve’s main entrance to the highway… Additionally, the Naotkamegwanning First Nation will benefit from upgrades to an access road that connects to a highway, which will contribute to improved safety and an overall better road network.
“The Township of Terrace Bay will widen its lanes and asphalt shoulders to support safer conditions for cyclists and pedestrians. Finally, the Municipality of Red Lake will upgrade existing roads and sidewalks to support safer active transportation and extend the lifespan of the roads,” the news release from Infrastructure Canada explained.
“With these investments, we are helping to improve roads and the Manitouwadge Airport that keep families in rural Ontario connected to their neighbours. These projects will create well-paying jobs in Thunder Bay-Superior North, and protect our critical infrastructure that helps our region thrive,” Hajdu stated.
“I am honoured to be here today on behalf of Minister (Greg) Rickford to announce seven shovel-ready projects for Northern Ontario. This funding will help support economic recovery and job creation. We are excited to invest in these critical infrastructure projects for our Northern communities,” commented Dave Smith, Parliamentary Assistant to the Minister of Energy, Northern Development and Mines and Indigenous Affairs and Member of Provincial Parliament for Peterborough–Kawartha on behalf of the Honourable Laurie Scott, Ontario’s Minister of Infrastructure.