Thursday, June 23, 2016

Ontario gives $40M to widen Rockland's County Road 17

No money promised yet to upgrade two-lane section within Ottawa city limits
Ontario's transportation minister has announced $40 million to widen a nine kilometre section of County Road 17 through Rockland, but the city councillor for neighbouring Cumberland warns the stretch of highway within city limits needs to go ahead at the same time
The provincial money would go toward making a nine kilometre stretch, from Landry Road to Canaan Road at the edge of the boundary with Ottawa, a four-lane road.
That project is pegged at about $107 million, according to a related City of Ottawa study, and construction would be expected to start in 2019.
"The squeaky wheel gets the oil, so we're getting some oil today and we're quite happy about it," said Guy Desjardins, mayor of Clarence-Rockland.

At an estimated 25,000 vehicles on it per day, Desjardins said it was just a matter of time before the road would see a serious collision.
Desjardins had been pushing for the four-laning, along with Glengarry-Prescott-Russell MPP Grant Crack, because he was concerned about safety on the busy two-lane road east of Ottawa. 
The widening would also help Rockland residents who work or shop in Ottawa, said Desjardins, while boosting economic development of the town if it leads to more people coming to Rockland.
A line in February's Ontario budget mentioned money might be forthcoming for Rockland's portion of the road, but until Thursday there had been no funding committed.

'It doesn't make sense' to leave middle 2-lane stretch

But the Ottawa city councillor for the Cumberland ward that borders Clarence-Rockland says it doesn't make sense to start widening the section of road in Rockland, and work west.  

That would create two bottlenecks equivalent to commuters trying to make their way through the "split" where highways 417 and 174 meet, suggested Blais.
"What's going to happen is you're going to have a four-lane road in Rockland, cramped down to a two-lane road through Cumberland, and back up to a four-lane road in Orleans," said Stephen Blais.
By Kate Porter - CBC News, click here for the complete article