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Eves government opens new four-laning on Highway 11


    NORTH BAY, ON, Oct. 2 /CNW/ - To improve road safety and access between
northern and southern Ontario, the Ernie Eves government officially opened a
new four-lane section of Highway 11, Transportation Minister Norm Sterling
announced today.
    "Our government is fulfilling a commitment we made to implement an
aggressive schedule to widen this key corridor and support the safe and
efficient movement of people and goods in Northern Ontario," Sterling said.
"We will continue to push forward to four-lane Highway 11 the entire distance
between Huntsville and North Bay."
    The new section of freeway, known as the Trout Creek Bypass, was opened
by Sterling and Nipissing MPP Al McDonald nearly a full year ahead of
schedule. Southbound lanes are scheduled to open to the public tomorrow and
the northbound lanes will open in two weeks.
    "Today's announcement is welcome news for residents and commuters in the
area," McDonald said. "As communities continue to grow, the new Highway 11
will improve access and safety to local businesses."

    The $60-million project includes:
    -  seven kilometres of new four-lane highway;
    -  five new bridges; and
    -  interchanges at the south and north ends of the bypass, which will
       provide direct access to the Town of Trout Creek and Highway 522,
       improving access to local businesses and tourist destinations
       throughout the area.

    In 1995, the government made a commitment to four-lane Highway 11 between
Huntsville and North Bay. To date, 16 kms of new four-lane highway and six new
bridges have been opened along the corridor.
    Currently, construction work is also underway to four-lane an additional
23 km of Highway 11 between North Bay and Huntsville. This includes a new
10km, $37-million construction project between Trout Creek and South River.
Engineering work and property acquisition is well underway for the remaining
47 kms to be four-laned.
    In addition to the four-laning of Highway 11 to North Bay, the Ernie Eves
government has also committed to four-laning Highway 69 to Sudbury. Since
1995, 34 kms of new four-lane highway have been opened along the Highway 69
corridor. Also, 30 kms of new four-lane highway are currently under
construction south of Parry Sound. This work will continue in stages until the
highway is widened to Sudbury.
    "This government is committed to the safety and efficiency of the
Northern Ontario highway system," said Minister of Northern Development and
Mines Jim Wilson. "This investment reflects our conviction that a modern
highway network is vital to economic prosperity and job creation."
    These investments are part of the government's five-year, $20-billion
SuperBuild initiative, designed to facilitate the largest infrastructure-
building program in Ontario's history. Since 1995, more than $1.6 billion has
been invested on highway improvements in Northern Ontario.

    To view maps please see: http://files.newswire.ca/6/Hwy11_public.pdf
                             http://files.newswire.ca/6/TC_bypass.pdf


    Backgrounder

              HIGHWAY 11 FOUR-LANING IN NORTHERN ONTARIO TROUT
                                CREEK BYPASS


    The Ontario government recognizes Highway 11 as a major transportation
gateway linking Northern Ontario with the southern portion of the province. It
serves as both a long distance connection for people and goods between
northern and southern population centres as well as a route for local commuter
traffic.
    The government has dedicated considerable resources to assess the needs
of the Highway 11 corridor and as a result is making a number of improvements
to enhance road safety and traffic flow. This work demonstrates that the
government continues to deliver on its long-standing commitment to extend the
four-laning of Highway 11.

    Previously Completed Projects (1995-2001):
    ------------------------------------------

      Town of Powassan southerly to McGillvray Creek
      (completed September 1997)
      - seven kms of Highway 11 were twinned and two bridges constructed for
        a total of $12 million.

      McGillvray Creek southerly to the Town of Trout Creek
      (completed October 1999)
      - five kms of Highway 11 were twinned and/or constructed on a new
        alignment, along with two bridges at a cost of $12.2 million.

      Town of Huntsville northerly to Melissa
      (completed September 2001)
      - four kms of Highway 11 were constructed on a mostly new alignment
        along with four bridges at a cost of $19.1 million.

    Completed Projects (2002):
    --------------------------

      Trout Creek Bypass (completed fall 2002)
      This project is finishing a year ahead of schedule due to good weather
      and an accelerated schedule by the contractor. Southbound lanes are
      scheduled to open to the public tomorrow and the remaining lanes will
      open in two weeks.

      This contract included:
        - seven kms of four-lane, divided freeway on new alignment, bypassing
          the community of Trout Creek;
        - two interchanges, one at McCarthy Street at the north and one at
          McFadden Road in the south; and
        - five bridges, including two 242-metre-long steel girder bridges to
          span the Trout Creek Valley.

      A unique component of this new bypass is the section of the Trans-
      Ontario Provincial snowmobile trail that will pass underneath the steel
      girder bridges by Trout Creek. The new bypass severed a previous
      section of the trail, and MTO worked with the Ontario Federation of
      Snowmobile Clubs to design and reinstate the trail at an acceptable
      location. It was determined that the best option for the new section of
      trail would be under the bridge.

    Current Projects Under Construction:
    ------------------------------------

      Emsdale southerly to Melissa (to be completed fall 2002)

      The contract includes:
        - thirteen kms of four-lane, divided freeway twinning the existing
          highway;
        - two interchanges, one at north Waseosa Lake Road and one at Novar
          Road;
        - six bridges; and
        - two truck-inspection stations for enforcement purposes.

      A unique component of this new facility is a median that varies in
      width up to 150 metres to avoid fish habitat in the Little East River.

      Trout Creek southerly to South River (to be completed fall 2004)

      The contract includes:
        - ten kms of four-lane, divided freeway twinning the existing highway
          with some new alignment; and
        - one interchange at Goreville Road.

      The Ministry of Transportation (MTO) recognized the importance of
      protecting the fish habitat on both the Trout Creek project and the
      Melissa project in these environmentally sensitive areas. MTO worked
      closely with Ministry of Natural Resources and the Department of
      Fisheries and Oceans.

    Future Work on Highway 11
    -------------------------

    More work is planned for Highway 11 in the coming years to complete the
four-laning from Huntsville to North Bay. The remaining 47 kms of four-laning
projects are in the engineering and property acquisition phase, which will
complete the four-laning of this important corridor. Once the ministry has
completed engineering and obtains the necessary property for these projects,
the construction schedule will then be confirmed.

    Highway 69
    ----------

    Highways 11 and 69 serve as key gateways connecting southern and northern
Ontario. That's why the Ernie Eves Government will continue to advance four-
laning plans for these gateways. In addition to completing the four-laning of
Highway 11 between Huntsville and North Bay, the province has also committed
to four-laning Highway 69. Since 1995, 34 kms of new four-lane highway have
been opened along the Highway 69 corridor. In addition, 30 kms of new four-
lane highway are currently under construction south of Parry Sound. This work
will continue in stages until the highway is four-laned to Sudbury.
    The eight km section from the Musquash River northerly to Tower Road at
MacTier will soon be the only section remaining to be four-laned south of
Parry Sound. Construction on that section will proceed as soon as property
acquisition is completed.
    The province is now focusing on two high priority projects that will  
four-lane Highway 69 for an additional 20 kms south of Sudbury, to south of
Estaire, and an additional 14 kms north of Parry Sound, to Highway 559.
Preliminary work is proceeding as quickly as possible and once engineering
work and property acquisition is completed for these projects, a construction
timetable will be announced.


    Disponible en français

                For more information visit www.mto.gov.on.ca


-30-
For further information: Bob Nichols, Ministry of Transportation, 
(416) 327-1158; Bill Parish, Minister's Office, (416) 327-1824

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