Ontario Supports Municipalities by Investing in Local Roads and Bridges
The Ontario government is providing $30 million to municipalities through the Connecting Links Program for 2021-22 to build, repair or replace local roads and bridges. This investment will help create jobs and keep people and goods moving as the province continues to recover from COVID-19.
The announcement was made today by Premier Doug Ford, Kinga Surma, Associate Minister of Transportation (GTA), and Monte McNaughton, Minister of Labour, Training and Skills Development.
"The investment we are making today is not just about improving our roads and bridges. It's also about creating good jobs in communities across the province, ensuring businesses can get their goods to market, and getting people to work on time and home sooner so they can spend more time with their families," said Premier Ford. "This investment is another part of our made-in-Ontario plan for growth, renewal and economic recovery."
The Connecting Links Program provides funding to eligible municipalities of up to 90 per cent of eligible project costs, up to a maximum of $3 million for road projects. In response to municipal feedback, the province is permanently raising the maximum amount of available funding for bridge projects from $3 million to $5 million to reflect the higher costs of maintaining and repairing bridges compared to roads.
Eligible costs include the design, construction, renewal, rehabilitation and replacement of municipal roads and bridges that connect two ends of a provincial highway through a community or to a border crossing.
"Local bridges and roads are more important than ever for connecting people to jobs and supporting the movement of goods," said Associate Minister Surma. "By increasing the maximum funding for bridge projects, we are helping municipalities to keep local bridges safe while reducing pressure on local budgets."
Ontario has 77 municipalities eligible to apply for provincial funding through the Connecting Links Program for 2021-22, comprised of 352 kilometres of connecting links and 70 bridges.
Municipalities can apply online until 5:00 p.m. on November 6, 2020, by visiting the Ministry of Transportation's Connecting Links page.
The government is investing $2.6 billion this year to expand and repair Ontario’s highways and bridges in communities across Ontario.
In 2020-21, the province provided $30 million in Connecting Links funding, plus an additional $10 million announced as part of Ontario's Action Plan: Responding to COVID-19, to support projects in 33 municipalities across Ontario.
Connecting Link projects are reviewed based on technical need and safety considerations such as connecting link bridge and road condition, need for repair in the near term and cost effectiveness.