Canada and Ontario invest in roads and bridges to support rural communities in Central and Eastern Ontario

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Ontario Construction News staff writer

The governments of Canada and Ontario this week announced funding for 10 road and bridge projects in smaller communities across Central and Eastern Ontario.

In Peterborough County, improvements are being made to approximately 1.4 kilometres of the J.A. Gifford Causeway, including repairs to the Chemong Bridge.

An additional 5.3 kilometres on Yankee Line (County Road 14) are also being rehabilitated. This is a joint project by Peterborough County and the Township of Selwyn. These improvements will increase safety for motorists and pedestrians and extend the life of the bridge and roadway for many years.

“The James A. Gifford Causeway is the County’s busiest stretch of road and the Causeway Improvement Plan is the largest infrastructure project that Peterborough County has undertaken and the largest overall grant funded project in our history,” said Murray Jones, Warden of Peterborough County.

“The Investing in Canada infrastructure plan, supported by both Federal and Provincial investments, will allow the County and Township to move forward with the much-needed infrastructure and safety improvements to the James A. Gifford Causeway.”

Other projects include road improvements in Asphodel-Norwood, Beausoleil First Nation, Collingwood, and Hiawatha First Nation.

In addition, bridge repairs and replacements will create safer and more efficient conditions for users of the roadway in Adjala-Tosorontio, Faraday, Highlands East, Minden Hills, and the Mohawks of the Bay of Quinte.

“These are ‘shovel ready projects’ that will get shovels in the ground, providing much needed job creation, helping our municipal partners recover from the COVID-19 pandemic,” said Laurie Scott, Ontario’s Minister of Infrastruture.

“Investing in infrastructure is essential to the recovery of Central and Eastern Ontario’s economy. These projects build new roads and bridges and drive local economic development in these communities.”

The Government of Canada is investing over $22 million in these projects through the Rural and Northern Infrastructure Stream (RNIS) of the Investing in Canada infrastructure plan. Ontario is contributing more than $10 million. Municipalities and First Nation communities are each contributing over $5 million towards the projects.

Central to Canada’s Connectivity Strategy are historic new investments that are mobilizing up to $6 billion toward universal connectivity. They include a top-up to the Connect to Innovate Program, a new Universal Broadband Fund, and investments from the Canada Infrastructure Bank.

On June 3, Ontario announced it was investing $150 million to launch the Improving Connectivity in Ontario program to fund broadband infrastructure projects in rural, remote and underserved regions of Ontario. This is part of the province’s $315 million initiative Up to Speed: Ontario’s Broadband and Cellular Action Plan.

“Rural communities are the backbone of the Canadian economy. By investing in projects like these, we are helping to make them stronger, more competitive and we are contributing to our country’s economic recovery,” said Maryam Monsef, Minister for Women and Gender Equality and Rural Economic Development.

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