In 2009, the Ontario government budgeted $648 million to expand and repair Northern Ontario highways. Some of the highway projects completed in 2009 are highlighted on the following pages. A list of all major northern highway projects completed last year has also been included for reference.
Pearl Lake Revision Highway 11/17 East of Highway 587 for 3 km
The purpose of this project was to improve the highway alignment while meeting the four laning design standards in preparation for future widening of this section of the highway.
Initial work included rock and swamp excavation and embankment construction. A second round of work consisted of connection of the new and existing alignments, culvert installations and the addition of new asphalt pavement.
Rehabilitation of the Partridge Lake Tributary Highway 11 East of Jellicoe
The Highway 11 Partridge Lake Tributary Culvert was built in the 1940’s as a two celled timber structure with an overall length of almost 23 metres. Being almost 70 years old, this structure was due for rehabilitation. Construction for this project had to balance cost effectiveness with the need to minimize environmental impacts to the local fisheries habitat.
For the rehabilitation, steel and pre-cast concrete slab were used to minimize the excavation required and reduce the environmental impact. Using these modern materials and construction methods the steel sheet piles and pre-cast slabs were back filled with essentially no disruption to the existing culvert and water way.
Replacement of the Hawk Lake CPR Underpass East of Kenora
This portion of Highway 17 plays a crucial role in the movement of goods on the Trans Canada Highway. The previous Hawk Lake CPR underpass was a constraint for moving over-sized loads through this corridor and identified as a priority for replacement with a new overpass. This project upgraded the existing road alignment, improved driving sight lines and will enhance safety and ensure that goods important to the north’s economy continue to move efficiently.
Opening 10 new kilometres of Highway 69 Estaire to Sudbury
Approximately 20 km of the new four-lane section of Highway 69 were opened this past November between Estaire and Sudbury. Four-laning Highway 69 will increase safety and raise Northern Ontario’s economic growth potential. Substantial construction on this section of Highway 69 featured: a new highway alignment, an underpass, overpass, interchange, culvert replacements, signage and illumination improvements, as well as paving the entire length.
Truck Escape Facility North Bay
A new state-of-the-art runaway truck ramp was constructed this past year on Highway 11 at Thibeault Hill in North Bay, where transport trucks descend into a busy commercial area of the city. The ramp uses a dragnet system, consisting of seven metal nets attached to energy absorbers, to catch a runaway truck or bus. The system is based on the technology used to stop airplanes landing on aircraft carriers. Since the system requires less distance to stop a vehicle than conventional gravel bed ramps, vehicle operators have more time to enter the ramp if they determine they have a brake issue. The new ramp is also more effective in the winter, and is easier to maintain. This is the only runaway truck ramp on the Ontario provincial highway system.
Resurfacing of Highway 6 including bridge and culvert rehabilitations South of Highway 17, Espanola
This project included resurfacing Highway 6 for a distance of 14 kms. Work also included the rehabilitation of the CPR overhead , culvert replacement as well as improvements to rock cuts and drainage. A new method of recycling existing pavement was used to resurface the road improving both driving conditions and highway operations throughout this area.