by David Shanahan
The long looked for federal funding for the expansion of County Road 43 has been delayed once again, this time by the calling of the federal election later this month. However, Mayor Nancy Peckford has been assured that the new government, no matter which party forms it, will carry on with the project.
The federal share of the costs for the much anticipated expansion has been approved and is one of a number of projects on a priority listing which will be carried on by the next government. There will be no need to reapply, or to start the entire process from scratch, as some have been afraid would be the case.
Current Member of Parliament, Michael Barrett, has also confirmed to the Times that a future Conservative government, if elected, would be committed to funding the CR 43 project.
There is no doubt that the expansion into four lanes is becoming more and more urgent as traffic flow on the section running from the 416 to Somerville Road, especially at rush hour both morning and evening, seems to be increasing each month. However, there is equally little doubt that, once the expansion actually begins, the situation may get much worse before it gets better.
Aside from having to put in a new bridge over the South Branch to carry the extra lanes, the construction will probably mean reduced lanes for some time, and possible detours through other routes, like Wellington and VanBuren. Other commuters to and from Ottawa may choose to take CR 44, past KPS and eQuinnelle. This is, nevertheless, a vital project for the future, as Kemptville continues to experience house building, especially in the North West Quadrant between CR 43 and CR 44.
The proposed increase in the number of roundabouts will also introduce an added element to the route and, depending on one’s attitude to them, may allow for smoother traffic flow once the entire expansion project is complete.
In the meantime, drivers and pedestrians using CR 43 along that stretch will just have to be patient, careful and optimistic.