Ontario Construction News staff writer
A project to widen Highway 11/17 from two to four lanes between Ouimet and Dorion East Loop in Thunder Bay District has been completed. It’s the seventh phase of construction to widen more than 100 kilometres between Thunder Bay and Nipigon.
“This project is part of our government’s plan to improve transportation in Ontario,” said Caroline Mulroney, minister of transportation. “The work completed so far and the eventual widening of Highway 11/17 to Nipigon will play an important role in addressing the unique transportation needs of the North, enhancing traffic flow and improving safety for individuals and businesses alike on our roads.”
The $74.8 million project between Ouimet and Dorion included widening the highway from two to four lanes for 8.6 kilometres and the twinning of the Canadian Pacific Railway overhead bridges at Ouimet.
“This investment in Dorion is an example of our government’s commitment to a strong and resilient Canada. Not only did it create good jobs and support our economic growth, but it will help meet the local infrastructure needs – from climate resiliency to transportation – for years to come,” said Sean Fraser, federal minister of housing, infrastructure and communities.
Highway 11/17 is a strategic link in the Trans-Canada Highway system. There is no alternate route when there are collisions or road closures. From April 2023 to March 2024, the Ontario government is investing nearly $592 million to repair and expand provincial highways and bridges in northern Ontario.
Bot Construction (Ontario) Limited was awarded the contract for widening of Highway 17 through Pays Plat in Northwestern Ontario. This $45.5 million project was delivered using the bid-build procurement model.
The contract included excavation of 100,000 cubic metres of earth, over 400,000 cubic metres of rock, and the processing of approximately 300,000 tonnes of granular (from the rock excavation) for the road base. Work started in October 2022 with completion planned for September 2024.
“We are pleased to receive this award and to continue building highways throughout the Northwestern Ontario highway network. The scope of this expansion project with the earth excavation, rock excavation, and granular processing fit perfectly with our company’s expertise,” said Steve Bot, Vice President and General Manager of Bot.