$139M coming for Ont. highways, bridges, roads
Ontario and the federal government will be teaming up to fund about $139 million in highway, road and bridge repairs as part of a plan to reduce commute times.
Premier Dalton McGuinty and Prime Minister Stephen Harper made the joint announcement Wednesday, using a road repair warehouse in Mississauga as a backdrop.
"Here in this area, workers will undertake maintenance on two bridges in Mississauga, and three more in Halton, Hamilton and Peel," Harper said, road workers standing in the background.
"The highway up the Bruce peninsula will be resurfaced, making it a rather nice drive to reach the recreation areas -- which, by the way, have also benefited from joint stimulus actions."
There are a total of 43 projects. Both levels of government are contributing $69.4 million.
"I won't read you the whole list, but these are not make-work projects. These are jobs that were on the province's infrastructure to-do list. We are accelerating them now because it is more opportune and more valuable to get on with them at this time," Harper said.
"And what all these projects have in common is that when they are complete, drivers and commuters will get where they are going more quickly, safety will be improved and business that depend on them will grow and prosper."
Some of the other work will include:
- Resurfacing on Highway 11 and Highway 9
- Highway 115 leading to cottage country
- Highway 400 bridges near Barrie
- Highway 401 bridges at Dixie Road, Oshawa and Trenton
McGuinty said the projects will provide work for about 1,200 people.
Harper said the government will continue to roll out stimulus projects this year, with a goal of laying the foundations for future economic growth.
The prime minister noted that about 160,000 jobs have been created nationwide in the past six months.
None of the projects announced Wednesday are specific to Toronto, which has some of the worst traffic congestion problems in the world, according to one recent report.
Harper noted there have been about 6,500 projects being jointly funded by Ontario and Ottawa. "I suspect there are hundreds or thousands that are taking place in the Greater Toronto or Golden Horseshoe area," he said.
McGuinty added, "We're working really hard to maintain a good balance between investing in roads and bridges, as well as in public transit."
The provincial government has invested $9.3 billion in public transit since 2003, he said.
Because the population continues to grow, more infrastructure investments are needed, McGuinty said.
The province came under fire from Toronto's Mayor David Miller after the March 25 provincial budget revealed that $4 billion in funding for some major public transit projects in Toronto would be delayed.
With a report from CTV Toronto's John Musselman