Widening of HWY 174 clears next hurdle

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After years of inaction the widening of HWY 174 has cleared another hurdle today.

Following a motion by Cumberland Councillor Stephen Blais last year, today the City’s Transportation Committee approved the terms of reference for an Environmental Assessment to widen HWY 174 from “the split” to Rockland.

“For too long, the road network in the East End had been left to deteriorate while suburban development continued,” says Blais. ”This idling approach by previous City Councils forced East End commuters to waste valuable time in traffic rather than have more time at home with their families.”

The study will look at expanding HWY 174 to six lanes between “The Split” and Trim Road. The EA would also look to expand HWY 174 from two to four lanes between Trim Road and the city’s border with Rockland (United Counties of Prescott-Russell). Additionally, the EA would look at the possibility of an interchange at Trim Road and HWY 174.

The EA will be funded with $5 million from the provincial government.

Presently, 60 per cent of Orléans and Cumberland commuters who work downtown use OC Transpo. Yet the average speed, on this 100 KM/h highway, during morning rush hour is 40 KM/h.

“The 174 is a fundamental transportation link and important to future growth in the East End,” adds Blais. “Despite Orléans and Cumberland residents embracing public transit like no other community, commute times are only getting longer. The completion of HWY 174 will significantly reduce commute times for our residents.”