THUNDER BAY – NEWS – It is a move aimed at improving road safety and bolstering economic growth. The Ontario government has successfully completed the expansion of Highway 11/17 from a two-lane to a four-lane stretch, spanning from Ouimet to the Dorion East Loop within the Thunder Bay District.
This achievement marks the completion of the seventh segment in a broader initiative to widen 100 kilometers of Highway 11/17 between Thunder Bay and Nipigon.
A Vision for Safer Transportation
Caroline Mulroney, Minister of Transportation, expressed her enthusiasm for this endeavour, stating, “This project is part of our government’s plan to improve transportation in Ontario. The work completed so far and the eventual widening of Highway 11/17 to Nipigon will play an important role in addressing the unique transportation needs of the North, enhancing traffic flow, and improving safety for individuals and businesses alike on our roads.”
Multi-Million Dollar Investment
The $74.8 million widening project from Ouimet to Dorion comprised an equal contribution from both the provincial and federal governments, amounting to $37.4 million each. The project encompassed expanding the highway from two to four lanes over a distance of 8.6 kilometers. Furthermore, it involved the twinning of the Canadian Pacific Railway overhead bridges at Ouimet.
The Honourable Sean Fraser, Minister of Housing, Infrastructure and Communities, emphasized the significance of this investment, saying, “This investment in Dorion is an example of our government’s commitment to a strong and resilient Canada. Not only did it create good jobs and support our economic growth, but it will help meet the local infrastructure needs – from climate resiliency to transportation – for years to come.”
Community Benefits and Enhanced Safety
Local leaders also expressed their appreciation for this pivotal project. The Honourable Patty Hajdu, Minister of Indigenous Services and Minister responsible for the Federal Economic Development Agency for Northern Ontario, and Member of Parliament for Thunder Bay-Superior North, acknowledged the positive impact on the community, stating, “Many people in our area use this piece of the highway to travel for work, appointments, recreation, and to stay connected to their communities. These additional lanes will improve the quality of the roads and increase the safety for those traveling throughout our region. Investments in our highways are critically important, and it is exciting to see this dream started many years ago come to reality.”
Kevin Holland, MPP for Thunder Bay—Atikokan, also stressed the significance of Highway 11/17 to the region, saying, “Our government recognizes the significance of Highway 11/17 to our highway network and to the Thunder Bay area. The opening of these lanes will make it easier for individuals, families, and businesses in the Thunder Bay area to get where they need to go while enhancing safety and supporting economic growth in the North.”