Ministry of Transportation Confirms Plans to Expand Highway 17
The County of Renfrew Operations Committee received a copy of a letter from the Minister of Transportation Steven Del Duca that was sent to local MPP John Yakabuski in which the Minister stated that “I am pleased to advise you that the ministry did secure approval to proceed with detail design for the next phase of expansion of Highway 17 from Scheel Drive to 3km west of Bruce Street (Town of Renfrew).”
Councillor Tom Peckett, Chair of the County of Renfrew Operations Committee had this to share, “The Operations Committee thanks Minister Del Duca for this excellent news, and wishes to express its gratitude to Councillor Peter Emon for his immense contribution on this issue and also to all those who have worked long and hard to bring attention to the Highway 17 expansion as a vitally important issue for Renfrew County.”
Warden of the County of Renfrew, Jennifer Murphy was pleased with the ministry proceeding with the detailed design phase and said, ”I want to thank Minister Del Duca and the Provincial Cabinet for their decision to move this project forward. This announcement allows the Ministry to move forward with all the steps that lead to getting the highway corridor ready for four lane expansion to just past Renfrew. I want to take a moment to specifically thank MPP John Yakabuski and Councillor and former Warden Peter Emon, their tireless efforts to keep bringing this issue to the forefront with the Province, and creating dialogue with stakeholders without a doubt has contributed greatly to the realization of today’s announcement.”
Councillor Emon shared this comment, “The County of Renfrew, John Yakabuski and the community have worked hard to demonstrate the need for the development of this critical piece of Provincial and community infrastructure. I believe our partnerships with and the support of North Eastern Ontario also demonstrated the importance of Highway 17 in serving Ontario and Canada.”
The letter outlined that the MTO will now be acquiring design consultants, continuing with property acquisitions, utility relocations, environmental approvals, consultations with Indigenous communities, the public and stakeholders. Once construction funding is confirmed the Ministry will identify the project in their five-year plan portion of the Southern Highways Program.
In March of 2016, a delegation comprised of elected officials from Renfrew County and other stakeholders met with the Honourable Steven Del Duca, in the Town of Renfrew where the Minister said that the Ministry would follow up with the County of Renfrew with a plan in the near future regarding the next steps for the Highway 417 expansion.