Sault Ste. Marie will be able to apply for funding through the province’s new Connecting Links program, a new $15 million annual infrastructure program, as of November 19, 2015, David Orazietti MPP announced today.
“Our government continues to deliver strong support for numerous programs at the municipal level that are used to fund various services and infrastructure projects,” said Orazietti. “The Connecting Links program provides an additional opportunity for our city to secure funding to build and repair local roads.”
The new program will help municipalities pay the construction and repair costs for connecting links – municipal roads that connect communities to provincial highways and border crossings. There are 352 kilometres of connecting links in 77 Ontario municipalities, including in Sault Ste. Marie.
The program will help communities cover the costs of bridge replacements, pavement rehabilitation, storm sewer construction and intersection improvements. Projects will be funded up to 90 per cent, to a maximum of $3 million.
This funding is part of the largest infrastructure investment in Ontario’s history — more than $130 billion over 10 years, which is making 110,000 jobs possible every year across Ontario, with projects such as roads, bridges, transit systems, schools and hospitals.
Ontario is building safe, reliable infrastructure to help create jobs and ensure a bright future for the province. Between April and September, the province announced support for more than 200 projects that will keep people and goods moving, strengthen the economy, connect communities and improve quality of life. Connecting Links projects will build on that progress.
Investing in roads and bridges is part of the government’s plan to build Ontario up. The four-part plan includes investing in people’s talents and skills, making the largest investment in public infrastructure in Ontario’s history, creating a dynamic, innovative environment where business thrives, and building a secure retirement savings plan.
Some provincial government initiatives supporting roads and bridges in the City of Sault Ste. Marie since 2003 include:
· $10.4 million Fort Creek Aqueduct replacement
· $5.6 million Carmen’s Way
· $3.5 million for Third Line Extension
· $3.1 million for rehabilitation of single lane bridges – Small, Rural and Northern Municipal Infrastructure Fund
· $3.1 million Hub Trail and Waterfront Walkway
· $3 million for Municipal Infrastructure Investment Initiative (MIII) 2008
· $2.7 million Canada Ontario Municipal Rural Infrastructure Fund (COMRIF)
· $2 million Small Rural and Northern Municipal Infrastructure Fund – Second Line
· $2 million Ontario Community Infrastructure Fund – third phase Second Line widening
· $1.6 million Recreational Infrastructure Canada/Ontario 2009
· $1.2 million Root River Bridge – Connecting Links program
· $1.1 million reconstruction Trunk Road – Connecting Links program
· $435,300 Ontario Community Infrastructure Fund – annual formula based component
§ Funding for the new Connecting Link program is expected to begin in the spring of 2016.
§ Ontario’s population is expected to grow by approximately 40 per cent by 2041, placing additional importance on having modern infrastructure to support a growing population.
§ Research shows that every $100 million of public infrastructure investment in Ontario boosts GDP by $114 million, particularly in construction and manufacturing sectors.