The federal and provincial governments have announced funding for a number of infrastructure projects in smaller northern Ontario communities, to help offset the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The projects include resurfacing of a portion of the Manitouwadge Airport’s runway, apron and taxiway, and new traffic symbols and safety markings.
Major roads in six communities will also be upgraded, the province said in a media release.
Biigtigong Nishnaabeg will widen, repave, and upgrade drainage and replace a culvert on a major road to make travelling safer for motorists and pedestrians.
On Kiashke Zaaging Anishinaabek (Gull Bay First Nation), improvements will be made to the road that serves as the community’s main entrance from the highway.
In Pickle Lake, the main road will be widened, reconstructed, and regraded, and connected to Highway 599, which will improve traffic flow and provide a secondary access point for emergency vehicles.
Naotkamegwanning First Nation’s access road will be upgraded, and Terrace Bay will widen lanes and asphalt shoulders to make conditions safer for cyclists and pedestrians.
Finally, Red Lake will upgrade existing roads and sidewalks.
The projects are being funded by several sources. The federal government is contributing about $12.7 million, the province $5.5 million, municipalities $1.7 million, and Indigenous communities about $443,000.
“With these investments, we are helping to improve roads and the Manitouwadge Airport that keep families in rural Ontario connected to their neighbours,” Patty Hajdu, Minister of Health and Member of Parliament for Thunder Bay–Superior North, said in a statement.
“These projects will create well-paying jobs in Thunder Bay-Superior North, and protect our critical infrastructure that helps our region thrive.”