Expansive roadwork set to begin near Thunder Bay

By Carl Clutchey
Local Journalism Initiative reporter
The Chronicle-Journal

A Thunder Bay construction company has been awarded a $2.1-million contract to oversee a major overhaul of roads in Rosslyn Village and Kakabeka Falls this spring and summer.

Oliver Paipoonge council awarded the project to Bruno’s Contracting last week.

Under a posted construction schedule, work is to start in Rosslyn Village next Monday, with a completion date for that part of the project set for June 10.

Roads to be upgraded and paved include Rosslyn Road, Elm Street, Ridler Drive and Vibert Road.

On May 30, the project is to begin work in Kakabeka Falls, reconstructing “all roads north and south of Highway 11-17,” according to the schedule. The completion date for those routes is set for July 15.

The work schedule “will be weather dependent and may fluctuate,” a project bulletin noted.

Meanwhile, a municipal management report said a contingencies fund for the project “has been increased from $120,000 to $172,000.”

The road work represents a big chunk of Oliver Paipoonge’s $9.5-million capital budget, which was approved by council in January.

At the time, Mayor Lucy Kloosterhuis said she was glad the municipality could make some major but “necessary” purchases and undertake capital work this year without having to ding taxpayers with a hefty increase.

The 2024 budget also includes $2.8 million in new vehicles, including $650,000 for a “heavy-rescue” pumper fire truck and $550,000 for a new road grader.

Earlier this year, Oliver Paipoonge received $562,000 under a provincial infrastructure fund to help municipalities pay for upgrades to roads and waterworks.

Oliver Paipoonge chief administrator Wayne Hanchard predicted the amount the municipality received would be used for road work.

Kloosterhuis said the provincial fund “plays a pivotal role in curbing tax increases (since) maintaining our roads and bridges is a substantial portion of our annual budget.”

Under the same infrastructure fund, the City of Thunder Bay received $10 million, according to a provincial news release.

Once construction on the Kakabeka Falls and Rosslyn Village projects is underway, any questions can be directed to Oliver Paipoonge officials by email at directorofoperations@oliverpaipoonge.on.ca.