Town to re-apply for subway funding

After being denied funding for the Portage Avenue underpass project this past spring, the Town of Fort Frances will take another shot at securing funds for the $1.7-million job.
Council this week approved a report from Operations and Facilities manager Doug Brown to make the underpass project “the highest priority project in the community” and direct administration to complete the application to the Canada-Ontario Rural Infrastructure Fund (COMRIF) by the Sept. 30 deadline.
If the town secures the two-thirds funding under the COMRIF program, it will be required to make a contribution of an estimated $571,155. This will be funded through long-term debt.
The town should receive notification from COMRIF by the end of December, noted Brown.
If approved, the town then will advertise for a tender call in the first quarter of 2006, with work to start around May 1.
The work on the underpass would be done in two phases—the west side first, then the east side—and would take about 16 weeks to complete (by Oct. 1, 2006).
The project would consist of replacing 180 metres of concrete from Third Street East to Fifth Street East and putting in new retaining walls, as well as a new sidewalk and handrail on the west side of the street.
The work also would include modifications to the railway abutment structures (installation of soil anchors), putting up new chain link fences, and upgrading to the storm sewer system (pump house and piping).
The existing roadway also would be reinforced and modified, with a view towards having an alternate truck route to the north sometime down the road.
One lane of traffic would be open at all times during the underpass work, and at no time should residents be forced to take alternate north-south routes, such as McIrvine Road or the emergency railroad crossing at Victoria Avenue.