Motorists in Dorion Township, halfway between Thunder Bay and Nipigon, will be feeling a little bit safer on the roads next week as a portion of the Highway 11-17 twinning project will begin opening in the area.
Sudbury contractor Teranorth Construction and Engineering announced in a letter to residents earlier this week that a portion of the new divided four-lane highway near Dorion is expected to open to traffic on Monday, Aug. 14.
Dorion Reeve Robert Beatty said the step is just an interim one as work proceeds on the newly opened section, but called it a good sign the project is proceeding towards completion, expected in October.
"The highway is not completed and won't be completed until the fall, however, for the convenience of the public, they are opening the westbound and eastbound lanes tentatively on Monday," he said. "That's very good for the community, it’ll provide safer access to the twinning of the highway."
The work has been ongoing for over two years and Beatty said residents are very interested in getting the highway finished.
"The contract has been excellent, Tera North has been excellent with the community, with the municipality itself," he said. "However, it would be nice to have the highway finished, that particular portion [of] 8.6 kilometres."
Residents are advised to use caution when entering and exiting driveways and side roads onto the new four-lane facility.
Teranorth was awarded the $107-million contract in April 2022 as part of the ongoing four-laning of Highway 11/17 between Thunder Bay and Nipigon.
The project covers a 14.4-kilometre stretch just east of Highway 587 towards Nipigon. Construction on this section was expected to wrap up in 2026.
Road construction to twin Highway 11-17 began in 2010.