THUNDER BAY – Ontario is promising safer highways in Northern Ontario.
The Ontario government is improving road safety in Northern Ontario by clearing Highways 11 and 17 four hours faster than the previous standard. The new “ON Trans-Canada” standard requires contractors to clear the highways to bare pavement within 12 hours of the end of a winter storm.
“Our government is the first to create a new highway level of service that will ensure Highways 11 and 17 are cleared faster, while improving road safety for drivers in the North,” said Caroline Mulroney, Minister of Transportation. “Ontario already has nation-leading standards in place when it comes to winter maintenance, and this builds on our government’s broader efforts to ensure we keep it that way.”
The new standard for clearing snow follows a detailed technical review of winter maintenance operations on Highways 11 and 17 and analysis of data from the winter maintenance pilot from the past two winter seasons on these highways.
In addition to the new standard, Ontario has taken several other actions to enhance its winter maintenance on Ontario highways, including:
- Increased use of underbody plows that have better performance in removal of snowpack as compared to conventional plows.
- Increased proactive use of anti-icing liquids before storms to make it easier to clear snow.
- Building an additional 24 Road Weather Information Stations (14 in Northern Ontario) to respond to changing winter weather conditions faster and more effectively.
- Enhancing 14 rest areas as a safe place to stop during the winter season, including rehabilitation of the rest areas along Highways 11, 17 and 599.
- Moving ahead with the first-ever 2+1 highway pilot in North America to help make our roads even safer.
Provincial service standards are evaluated on an ongoing basis to determine opportunities to further enhance winter maintenance operations across the highway network.