THUNDER BAY — A small portion of the current phase of highway twinning between Thunder Bay and Nipigon is scheduled to open to traffic early next week.
Work began two years ago on four-laning an 8.6-kilometre stretch in the Dorion area, between Ouimet Canyon Road and Superior Shores Road.
Dorion Township Reeve Robert Beatty says about four kilometres of the westerly portion of the eastbound lanes are completed, with the remainder of the eastbound lanes expected to be finished this fall.
He said the westbound lanes are scheduled to be finished by the fall of 2023.
Beatty said he's pleased to see the progress to date, because "any time you can have another 8.6 kiometres of the Trans-Canada Highway twinned, it's safe for everybody, for the local residents and obviously all the people that are travelling the highway."
He also noted that the project includes replacement of the overpass near the Ouimet Canyon Road.
"It's excellent because it's going to eliminate the old overpass," he said, adding that "the bridge was starting to show its age."
Beatty said he appreciates the cooperation and communication the township has received from the Ministry of Transportation and from the contractor, Teranorth Construction.
In a post on Ontario511 advising motorists of the status of the project, the MTO asks local residents to obey signs and to take precautions while entering and exiting driveways and sideroads as construction continues in the Dorion area.
The most recent contract for the highway twinning between Thunder Bay and Nipigon was announced in April.
When Teranorth completes that 14-kilometre stretch in 2026, about 70 per cent of the 106-kilometre route will be four-laned.