Kenora MP Bob Nault says the way things are shaping up, it doesn't like construction on the twinning of the highway will be able to start this fall.
"I'm not sure why nobody seems to know the date of when we're starting the first phase. I'm pretty sure I know, and I'm not even in the provincial government," he said yesterday.
"I want to make sure that we have met our obligation for our duty to consult with aboriginal people, have that completed. It's not completed yet. My understanding is it's started, but it's not finished. After that, there's the whole issue of tendering and that takes time," the MP continued.
The Ministry of Transportation of Ontario says that they’re also finalizing their plans and environmental approvals for the project. Ministry staff add they’re working with property owners, municipalities and First Nations to identify and mitigate any potential for negative impacts from the project.
Both Nault and Kenora-Rainy River MPP Greg Rickford agree the most important thing is to move the project forward.
"People want to see us working together to get this project done. Folks can look forward to construction getting underway in the very near future. That’s the bottom line,” said Rickford -- who also serves as a senior cabinet minister at Queen's Park -- in an interview last week.
The twinning of the Trans-Canada from Kenora to the Manitoba border is expected to be done in three sections:
- Section #1: Between the Manitoba - Ontario Border and Hwy. 673
- Section #2: Between Hwy. 673 and Rush Bay Road
- Section #3: Between Rush Bay Road and Hwy. 17A
When the project was announced close to a decade ago, the federal and provincial governments each set aside $50 million for the project.
A section of the Trans-Canada between the border and Falcon Lake will also need to be twinned.
A fatal collision between West Hawk and Falcon Lake last weekend brought the safety issue of twinning the highway back into the news.
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