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Council supports asking province to take over County Road 49

UPDATE: Supported by council.

Following the recent announcement of the uploading of Hwy. 174 in Ottawa to the province to maintain, councillor Chris Braney won council support at tonight’s meeting to seek the same deal for County Road 49.

Braney’s motion asks council to support directing the mayor to write Premier Doug Ford.

The provincial government downloaded the highway to Prince Edward County in 1998 as part of province wide ‘Common Sense Revolution’ budget cuts initiated by premier Mike Harris.

The highway was opened in 1966 spanning 18.6 km – 17.5 of which is concrete.

Braney states the busiest entry point into the County is used by 6,000 vehicles per day – including commuters, visitors to the Sandbanks Provincial Park and other provincially owned and managed destinations, along with heavy truck traffic to support industrial and commercial businesses.

The County has spent more than $300,000 to complete feasibility and engineering design studies and now has a shovel-ready project that it hoped would attract upper level government investment.

However, there have been no provincial funding opportunities – despite repeated visits by current and former Ministers of Transportation who have witnessed the poor condition of the road.

“The deterioration of this critical road has gone on for too long; enough is enough,” said Mayor Steve Ferguson last May. “The condition of the road has been an election issue during multiple campaigns and people want it fixed. The County has done everything it can to move this project forward and it is shovel-ready.”

To strategize and advocate for the rehabilitation, council created the County Road 49 Working Group with Mayor Ferguson and councillors Braney, David Harrison, Brad Nieman, and Phil St-Jean.

The County Road 49 link from the Skyway Bridge to Picton is experiencing severe joint and slab failures and cracking. The Skyway Bridge and the portion through Tyendinaga is provincially maintained.

The average weekly cost of patch repairs, including material, equipment/vehicles, and staffing is approximately $3,500 or $182,000 annually.

The road frequently makes CAA’s annual Worst Roads list and in 2016 received enough votes to be named the worst road in Ontario.

The last estimate was that almost $30 million would be required to fix County Road 49.

The Ottawa agreement media release calls for Ontario to provide funding for maintenance and rehabilitation of Regional Road 174 in a three-stage phased assessment of potential provincial ownership.

But Ford, at a Mayor’s breakfast meeting in Ottawa, told reporters “Yes. We’ll take that responsibility.”

Filed Under: Local News

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  1. Jack Elliott says:

    Todd Smith should be supporting council to have 49 downloaded to the province.

  2. TIP says:

    The Conservative government of the day should never have dumped this busy road onto the County to maintain. It’s time for the current MPP step up for his constituents and see that this becomes a provincial highway again. If not, then this should become an issue during the next provincial election!

  3. Fred says:

    The download of Hwy 49 to the County in 1998 by the Conservatives Mike Harris was wrong. Admit the wrong and correct the major mistake.

  4. Mike Rodgers says:

    The province needs to take back the hiway and hopefully replace it with concrete. Concrete while expensive up front is more cost effective down the road.

  5. twitter says:

    It’s really concerning to read about the state of County Road 49, especially considering its importance as a main artery into the county. It’s high time that the provincial government steps in, as they did with Hwy. 174 in Ottawa. Consistent maintenance and funding are crucial for the safety and economy of the area. Hopefully, the council’s efforts will lead to a similar agreement and much-needed relief.

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