Corinna Smith-Gatcke, Mayor of Leeds and the Thousand Islands; Pat Sayeau, Mayor of Edwardsburgh Cardinal; Robin Jones, Mayor of Westport; Michael Barrett, MP; Nancy Peckford; Chandra Arya; Arie Hoogenboom, Mayor of Rideau Lakes; Steve Clark; Brant Burrow, Mayor of Elizabethtown-Kitley; Counties Warden Roger Haley; Doug Malanka, Mayor of Augusta; and Doug Struthers, Mayor of Merrickville-Wolford.

Area politicians were in attendance on Friday as the new provincial and federal signs were unveiled to mark the beginning of the County Road 43 expansion project. Mayor Nancy Peckford was joined for the occasion by officials from the United Counties of Leeds and Grenville, including members of County Council, and several federal and provincial politicians.

The dignitaries began by uncovering two signs placed at the intersection of County Road 43 and Grenville Street, announcing the funding for the expansion project, which will see a rebuilding of the bridge over the river, as well as a widening of the in-town portion of County Road 43 to four lanes. The signs were unveiled to much applause, and a few passing motorists honked to help mark the occasion.

During a follow up at the North Grenville Public Library, several politicians made speeches to thank the officials who made the project happen. A total of $9.9 million in funding will be provided for the project by the federal and provincial governments. On behalf of Dominic LeBlanc, Minister of Intergovernmental Affairs, Infrastructure and Communities, Nepean MP Chandra Arya received applause upon telling the crowd that his government is proud to be contributing to the expansion project. Local MPP Steve Clark addressed the crowd as well, revealing that the expansion project is currently the largest infrastructure project in the province, in terms of provincial funding. Speaking of the project, MPP Clark said, “It really shows that when all four levels of government work together, you’re able to create this wonderful opportunity.”

Also present was local MP Michael Barrett, who talked about how important the project has been since he took office, and how pleased he is that it will proceed. Leeds and Grenville Warden Roger Haley also addressed the room, saying that projects such as the County Road 43 expansion are a “key element in any community’s economic development.”

Mayor Peckford had much to say on such a significant occasion for the Municipality. “When I was elected, it didn’t matter where I went in North Grenville, I was in the furthest reaches of Bishop’s Mills, furthest away from the section of County Road 43 that we will be investing in, and people told me it was their number one priority,” she said. “It didn’t matter where you lived in this Municipality, it was the dominant concern.” She also emphasized the safety reasons for the expansion, including the sad news that a Municipal employee had been killed attempting to cross the road several years ago. “The reality is that when you don’t invest, it does cost,” she added.

The expansion of County Road 43 will start at Colonnade Mall, with work progressing west to County Road 44. The expansion is proposing four new roundabouts with illuminated push button activated pedestrian crossings at: County Road 44, Shoppers Drug Mart/St. Michael’s Catholic High School, Anniversary Way, Stinson/Retirement Home. The addition of trees and greenery will enhance the experience when traveling along the road. There is a planned 3-metre (10-feet) wide multi-use pathway on both sides of the newly-expanded roadway and on the new four lane bridge.

The project will also see the reconstruction of the CR43 roundabout at CR19 and Colonnade Drive. The bridge work is expected to take place this year, and it is anticipated that, once the work has started, construction will require approximately 30 months to complete.

Ongoing updates on the project will be found at www.Expand43.ca.

 

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