Opeongo Line construction pushes forward

BARRY’S BAY – Despite a few bumps in the road, construction on the Opeongo Line is pushing forward.

On May 12, Madawaska Valley Township’s operations committee was given a verbal update on the construction to the downtown road, also referred to as the connecting link.

The township received more than a million dollars in provincial funding to complete construction on the road.

“We only have one connecting link from the arena to Mintha Street,” Operations Manager Hilary Kutchkoskie explained. “It’s connecting two provincial highways; Highway 60 to Highway 60.”
Back in the 1980s, the province deemed portions of the road, including maintenance responsibilities, to the municipalities. Bancroft, Eganville, Barry’s Bay and several other communities have a connecting link.

The province originally provided automatic 100 percent funding for capital costs, but for the past couple of years, municipalities have had to apply for grants.

Madawaska Valley was approved for funding last year, at 90 cents on the dollar. Just recently, the province announced more grants for connecting link reconstructions at 100 per cent.

“How do you know,” Kutchkoskie shrugged.

He joked that the municipality could always apply for funding again, clearly referring to the obstacles that the township has run into, like the significant watermain break between Dunn Street and Bay Street.

CAO/Clerk Craig Kelley clarified that it was not a watermain break on May 10, but a combination of factors that led to the road being closed.

“It was a perfect storm,” Kelley started.

Get your May 20, 2015 edition of The Valley Gazette to read the full story.