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Connecting Link work experiencing 'delays', says Timmins CAO

Right now, the start of construction is two months month later than when work started on last year's segment
2022-06-09 Connecting Link MH
Work has yet to start on the stretch of Algonquin Boulevard being reconstructed in Timmins this year. So far, the project is two months behind when work started in 2021.

With work on this year's segment of the Connecting Link not started yet, Timmins CAO Dave Landers said the city's waiting for it to move on. 

The extensive project will see Algonquin Boulevard fully reconstructed from Theriault Boulevard to Mountjoy Street South. The work includes replacing the water, sanitary and storm infrastructure, new curbs and sidewalks, and new asphalt and light standards.

“There have been some delays in getting permissions to move ahead with some of the construction activity and in particular ensure the bypass route around it within town was properly signalized,” Landers told Timmins council on June 7.

On May 31, city communications co-ordinator Amanda Dyer said that so far there are no delays to when the project will finish or revisions to the approved budget.

Right now, the start of construction is two months later than when work started on last year's segment. In 2021, contractors started in early April. Algonquin fully shut down in May and reopened in November.

Earlier this year, R.M. Belanger Ltd. was awarded a three-year, $27.9 million contract to rebuild the downtown section of the Connecting Link. The cost of this year's section of work is $8.9 million, which is $982,875 more than what's budgeted.

Ontario has promised $74 million for the Connecting Link in Timmins in the 2022 budget, which has not been approved yet.

When work starts on the road, there are two detours around the construction this year.

The detour to the north of Algonquin is Theriault Boulevard, Vimy Avenue and Mountjoy Street North. There will be a temporary four-way stop at Theriault and Vimy and a temporary three-way stop at Vimy and Mountjoy.

The south detour is Cameron Street, Commercial Avenue and Mountjoy Street South. There will be temporary traffic lights at Cameron and Wilson, and Commercial and Mountjoy. 

The detour for heavy truck traffic is the same as last year.

It includes Shirley Street, Lafleur Drive, Laforest and Highway 655. 

New this year, there will be a temporary speed limit drop to 50 kilometres per hour on Airport Road just south of Laforest in the Kraft Creek bridge area.

In Timmins, the Connecting Link is a 21.35-kilometre stretch of Highway 101 running from Kamiskotia Road in the west to the old railway tracks in Porcupine.

Since 2016 more than $19 million of roadwork has been done on about five kilometres from the top of Rae Hill to Legion Drive. The estimated cost of construction from 2021 to completion is $95.8 million.

— TimminsToday