Queen’s Park has finally announced it intends to four-lane Highway 69 within 12 years.
Minister of Northern Development and Mines Rick Bartolucci and Minister of Public Infrastructure Renewal David Caplan made that long-awaited promise to Northerners at a highway construction site south of Sudbury, June 28.
After taking office, Bartolucci, also Sudbury MPP, pledged to have an action plan on Highway 69 before the end of 2005.
Bartolucci campaigned long and hard as an opposition MPP before taking office. His involvement in the Crash 69 committee lobby group included a billboard and bumper sticker campaign featuring mock license plates that read “4-LANE 69.”
An action plan on the highway was a campaign plank for Bartolucci and Premier Dalton McGuinty. They promised its release before the start of 2005.
Over the next five years, travellers can expect extensions of passing lanes, paved shoulders and rumble strips on the 115-kilometre long corridor between Parry Sound and Sudbury.
About 20 kilometres of new four-lane highway from Sudbury south to Estaire is planned for completion in 2009. A further 17 kilometres of new four-lane construction from Parry Sound north to Highway 559, near Nobel, is planned for completion in 2010.
Construction along the remaining route could begin by 2010 once all the environmental approvals and property acquisitions are completed. The middle portion between Nobel and Alban has been scheduled for completion in sections between 2012-2016.