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Province investing $560 million in Northern Ontario highways

The province is investing $560 million in highway infrastructure projects in 2015-16 through the Northern Highways Program. The program is aimed at making travel easier and safer across Northern Ontario.
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Critics say the $15-million annual allotment for Northern Ontario in the Connecting Links program isn’t nearly enough to cover the work that needs to be done. File photo.
The province is investing $560 million in highway infrastructure projects in 2015-16 through the Northern Highways Program.

The program is aimed at making travel easier and safer across Northern Ontario.

As the construction season wraps up, Northern Highway Program projects are adding passing lanes, resurfacing roads, rehabilitating and replacing bridges, and four-laning sections of Highway 69 south of Sudbury and Highway 11-17 east of Thunder Bay.

This funding is part of the largest infrastructure investment in Ontario’s history — more than $130 billion over 10 years, which is making 110,000 jobs possible every year across Ontario, with projects such as roads, bridges, transit systems, schools and hospitals.

Between April and September, the province announced support for more than 200 projects that will keep people and goods moving, strengthen the economy, connect communities and improve quality of life.

“Ontario is committed to ensuring safe and efficient travel for residents, tourists and businesses on our northern highways. Investing in these projects allows us to maintain reliable roads, while supporting economic growth, ” said Minister of Northern Development and Mines Michael Gravelle in a news release.

These investments are supported by a number of initiatives, including broadening the ownership of Hydro One — an approach that raises billions for infrastructure while ensuring consumers are protected.

Supporting highway infrastructure is part of the government’s plan to build Ontario up.

The four-part plan includes investing in people’s talents and skills, making the largest investment in public infrastructure in Ontario's history, creating a dynamic, innovative environment where business thrives, and building a secure retirement savings plan.

“Our government is investing in the critical transportation infrastructure that families and businesses in Northern Ontario rely on daily,” said Steven Del Duca, Minister of Transportation in a news release.

“Expanding and improving our northern highway network is necessary for helping our economy grow and creating jobs in the North, and is proof that Premier Kathleen Wynne and our government are focused on building Ontario up.”


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