City councillor Mort Goss says Kenora residents shouldn’t have to deal with repeated closures of Highway 17 due to snow clearing issues, an issue that he says is becoming all too common in 2022.
“We’re very, very unhappy with the road conditions to the east and west of us. We’ve had several closures on the roads,” says Goss. “At some point, I wonder if council can put something out to senior levels of government. It’s unconscionable.”
The OPP and the Ministry of Transportation have closed large portions of Highway 17 at least three times this month, after major snowfall events and collisions. At their worst, closures have included from the Ontario/Manitoba border all the way to Ignace.
“I’ve got friends who couldn’t go to Thunder Bay for a lifesaving surgery because the highway was blocked off for two days in a row. This is an unconscionable situation. We have to get this [figured out]. We’re not second-class citizens,” adds Goss.
Goss notes it has been an especially brutal winter season so far, and Environment Canada says this year’s snowfall is significantly higher than average. 2020’s winter saw 83.9 cm of snowfall, whereas this winter has seen 114 cm as of January 18, 2022.
“Big shout-out to all of our snow clearing and road clearing crews. They’ve been doing a fantastic job,” noted the councillor.
“This has been a very trying season. Kudos to every one of them. They’re working hard. No matter what anyone seems to think. These guys are working 24/7 it seems. My hat goes off to them. We really appreciate what’s going on.”
Click here to check the current road conditions on the Fix Auto Road Report page and if you see anything on the roads that we should know about, call or text us on the Sounds and Systems Talk and Text Line at 807-468-4487.