Timmins is talking about backing a resolution to four-lane Highway 11 from Cochrane to North Bay. Temiskaming Shores is asking for support from surrounding communities to turn the highway into four lanes, but Timmins city council is divided on the issue so far.
Mayor Steve Black says it would be a great thing to have, but we are already struggling to get the roads fixed in Timmins. He points out that highways to the Soo, Sudbury, North Bay, and Thunder Bay have been expanded into four lanes in the last decade. Now he asks if it is Timmins’ turn as the fifth regional hub, and one without a four lane highway. He says it would be helpful, but questions if it’s a priority in terms of all of the infrastructure needs that the city wants to flag, the Connecting Link for example.
Councillor Rick Dubeau says although that is true, he thinks it is still possible to do both. He says Highway 11 going north is basically the only access to the Trans Canada Highway. Because of that, Dubeau says it’s more likely the province will provide funding for that instead of other things the city is asking for. He says they will still push for funding for Algonquin, but expanding Highway 11 will be a bonus that will help bring traffic into the community.
Councillor Pat Bamford suggests asking for passing lanes instead, since there aren’t many between New Liskeard and Timmins. He says that is the start of four-laning, it’s more doable, and it is much safer for highway drivers.
In the end, council decided to have two resolutions come back for a vote. One will be to support Temiskaming’s idea for four-laning Highway 11, while the other will have council throw their support behind added passing lanes.