Northern Ontario always a priority for infrastructure spending: transportation minister

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Ontario Construction News staff writer

Ontario’s transportation minister visited a major road construction site in Timmins this week, after an earlier $3 million funding announcement.

Work on the Connecting Link project started in April. Timmins and Kapuskasing each received $3 million from the provincial Connecting Link Program funding to repair roads and bridges. 

“This is a key artery in Timmins and I can tell you that your local municipal leaders have been advocating for municipal funding and that’s why I’m pleased today to provide this funding on behalf of the Province of Ontario to see it move forward,” Caroline Mulroney said at the site where work began in April.

Belanger Construction was awarded the $7.2 million contract to rebuild Algonquin Boulevard West from Mattagami Boulevard South near the bridge to Theriault Boulevard. Work includes reconstruction of water, sanitary and storm infrastructure, new curbs and sidewalk, new asphalt and new light standards.

Originally planned for 2020, the project was delayed because the sole bid received was $8.5 million. The city’s engineer had estimated the project would cost about $6.1 million.

Two bids were received this year — Belanger Construction and Interpaving Limited at $7.8 million.

“The $3-million funding received this year on the Connecting Link allows us to invest an equal amount towards other much-needed infrastructure projects within the city,” Timmins Mayor Pirie said in a news release.

Investing in Northern Ontario has been and “always will be a priority” for Premier Doug Ford, said Mulroney.

“Initiatives like Ontario’s Connecting Links program is one of the many ways that our government supports key transportation projects in regions across the province,” she said.

The funding cap for bridge projects has been increased to $5 million from $3 million in the next phase of the program.

“This funding boost will help manage higher costs associated with maintaining and repairing bridges and ensure that they remain safe and efficient for the thousands of drivers who rely on them every day,” Mulroney said.

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