Three Canadian provinces announce highway progress

| Thursday, August 31, 2006

A proposed highway to connect the Niagara region with the Ontario provincial capital of Toronto is on a fast track, according to Ontario Transportation Minister Donna Cansfield.

Cansfield met with local politicians from both areas this week to say the highway proposal is still a decade or more from reality, but that the government was moving ahead with environmental studies, according to the St. Catherines Standard.

The corridor would include Toronto, Hamilton and other trucking centers, and serve the border region at Buffalo, NY.

The unnamed highway was one of three Canadian road proposals announced this week.

In the province of Alberta, the federal government will spend $150 million toward a $320 million twinning of Highway 63.

Highway 63 links Edmonton and Fort McMurray, a busy route to the booming oil-sands industry.

Oil companies are extracting oil from the sands, and Highway 63 cannot handle the increased traffic, according to the Alberta government, which is coughing up the remaining $170 million.

A planned highway extension in the French-speaking province of Quebec has the attention of the trucking world because it would link a proposed trade route from Montreal to the New England states.

Environment Canada has initiated an environmental assessment for an extension of Highway 35 between Saint-Jean-sur-Richelieu and Philipsburg, Quebec, a vital link in the chain.

Several government ministries are studying the proposal, and public hearings have not yet been scheduled.

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