Ford Says He’s Committed in Four-Laning Highway 17 North

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Premier Doug Ford made a campaign stop in Sault Ste. Marie Saturday morning touting the benefits of the Ring of Fire project in Northwestern Ontario. The Premier talked about “Getting it Done”  when it comes to building new highways in and out of the Ring of Fire site, but what about our own Highways?

For decades Sault Ste. Marie had to wait for a small section of Highway 17 east to be four laned with still a large portion of the highway connecting the Sault to Sudbury still untouched.

Highway 17 north has been a death trap for many over the last several decades and talk about four laning the northern section has been talked about since the highway opened in the early 1960’s.

SaultOnline.com asked the Premier directly if we would see the four laning of the northern highway in our lifetime.

“That’s a good question” Ford said, “other people around Ontario, if you aren’t up in the north and you’re not driving late at night on those roads , you don’t get , I’ve been on those roads at night time.” Ford said.

“we’re going to do everything we can to invest into the infrastructure and make it safe for communities right across the north, so the answer is yes.”

The Premier went on to say, we’re going to be investing in that and make sure we have shovels in the ground as soon as possible.”

Highway 17 north has seen numerous fatalities from a stretch from the Sault to Wawa in recent years while billions of dollars have been spent in southern Ontario including the four laning of highway 400 /69 from Toronto to Sudbury and Highway 11 serving North Bay.

After a 25 year wait, a small section of Highway 17 from St. Joseph Island west to Sault Ste. Marie was completed in  2007.

13 COMMENTS

  1. I want to make a few more observations. The four lanes from Sudbury to the Sault and on to Wawa is long over due. This deliberate omittance is keeping the north from growing. John Rhodes wanted to do it decades ago and every Provincial government since then has bashed the idea. Every year the government takes huge tax dollars from the north and spends it in the south (Barrie to Kingston to Windsor). and very little of the road tax collected is spend in the north. Let me suggest – and I have been preaching this for years – instead of building four lanes around Torornts to bring people into the city the tax money should go to moving vcompnies ourt og the GTS and brisending to the the north.

  2. It makes me nuts – not that I am not already there – when politicians make up stories to emphasis a point and the media doesn’t clarify it. Ford said “I’ve been on those roads at night time.”!!!! When? Up until he was elected he thought Richmond Hill was Northern Ontario!

  3. “We’re cancelling the 4 lining of Highway 69 to fund the construction of Highway 407” – Mike Harris, Conservative Premier, 1995

  4. The change in the sound of Doug Ford’s voice in answering Dan’s direct question about future provincial 4-laning of Hwy 17 was dramatic. Where his speech sounded hard, and scripted, his answer to Dan’s question seemed softer, and filled with personal experience, and ending in a qualified yes (we will see that in our lifetimes).

    A promise Doug Ford likely knows he cannot keep without the approval of his Backroom Boys, and which he will not get from them, but which he would personally like to see.

    Doug Ford is a great front man for his Backroom Boys who make ALL the decisions. Doug Ford Cares, it’s just his Backroom Boys that don’t. They just want to facilitate making TONS of $$$ for their friends. Doug Ford helps them do that because he cares.

    In any case, 4-laning of Hwy 17 from the Sault, in either direction, is not the best expenditure of Infrastructure dollars. Those same dollars would be much better spent in solidifying the rail beds of Short Line, and PASSENGER RAILWAY.

    Doing that would, 1) provide the safest way for those Northerners who MUST travel during our treaturous winters from their homes throughout the North to Sault Ste. Marie, and 2) finally support the Industrial Trains coming into, and out of Sault Ste. Marie… which, BTW, is slated to get more intensive as the ARC Furnace comes online in a few short year, and also with the current 1200 square foot expansion of Tenaris, and many more as our Sault Industrial Economy grows.

    Rail Bed investment, and maintenance money is the far far better, and safer way to go with any Transportation Infrastructure spending for Sault Ste. Marie.

    It will likely take more transports off our Northern Hwys coming in and out of Sault Ste. Marie, and breathe some new life into our almost extinct Passenger Rail Service!!

    A new Bud Car in honour of our Bud’s 2022 Stanley Cup Championship anyone?

    That’s my 5 cents. Have a great rest of your day everyone!! 🙂

  5. No thanks, I don’t want any real-world improvements. I’m voting liberal. I think we should overhaul education and lock back down to cripple our economy while we move into a recession during exploding inflation & fuel costs that our federal leadership only directly and deliberately contribute to.

  6. My biggest question for the provincial parties is what is going to be done regarding the ever in reasing gap between ODSP and OW benefit amounts versus a liveable wage earner? Shelter allowances dont cover majority of rental units at the current housing market rate…

    • Easy answer: nothing will happen.

      Unless you’re a Chinese investor buying properties through anchor companies and importing communist philosophy, Trudeau’s government doesn’t give a steaming turd about you.

      The liberals must be ejected at any cost if we want our country back in the next 10 years.

  7. Actually, the highway was 4 laned between St Joe’s and Echo Bay long before the last stretch was completed between Echo Bay and the Sault.

  8. Wow! This Headline is very very very wrong!

    “That’s a good question” ford said

    And went on to NOT make any such commitments in his answer!

Comments are closed.