MPP Walker announces Connecting Links funding

The Ontario government is providing $30 million to build a safer and more reliable transportation system that will help keep goods moving and better connect municipalities throughout the province.

Bruce-Grey-Owen Sound MPP Bill Walker announced as part of the Connecting Links program, the Municipality of Meaford will receive $1,319,760 towards the reconstruction of Sykes Street and infrastructure replacement and the Township of West Grey will receive $710,234 towards the rehabilitation of Garafraxa Street Bridge.

“I’m very pleased to see these two projects will receive funding through the Connecting Links program. In our rural municipalities, transportation infrastructure is critically important to all citizens,” said Walker. “I want to thank Minister Mulroney and her team for this important announcement and I encourage local municipalities with Connecting Links to apply for funding in the 2021-22 stream.”

The 2020-21 Connecting Links program will support 24 municipalities across the province to help them build, repair or replace municipal roads and bridges that connect two ends of a provincial highway through a community or to a border crossing.

“We understand that the maintenance and repair costs of roads and bridges places a heavy burden on our municipal partners,” said Caroline Mulroney, Minister of Transportation. “That is why we continue to support our local communities with investments that will keep families safe, goods moving, and drive economic growth and job creation.”

The funding will support three bridge repairs, 10 resurfacing projects, seven reconstruction projects, and four detailed design projects to prepare for further infrastructure investments.

“We are very grateful to the provincial government and MPP Bill Walker for approving our application to the Connecting Links Grant to complete a full reconstruction of a critical section of Sykes St. N., from Collingwood to Lombard Street.  Some of the infrastructure to be replaced dates back to 1894 and this grant of $1,319,760 will provide a significant portion of a project to include storm sewers, sidewalks, the road surface,” said Meaford Mayor Barb Clumpus. “The remaining cost of the full replacement of water and sewer infrastructure is the responsibility of the municipality.   This announcement is most welcome at this time as we begin to plan for economic and operational recovery after Covid-19.”

“We are thrilled with this announcement and wish to thank MPP Walker and the Province of Ontario for the ongoing support for rural Ontario infrastructure,” said West Grey Mayor Christine Robinson. “The rehabilitation of the Garafraxa Street Bridge in Durham will ensure this critical roadway remains open and, equally important, lays the groundwork for more work to come. This grant shows the importance of collaborative relationships with all orders of government and that two-way conversations and West Grey’s advocacy results in action.”

Connecting Link projects are reviewed based on technical need and safety considerations such as the condition of the connecting link bridge and road, need for repair in the near term and cost effectiveness.