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(Editor's Comment: As you will note from "Previous Stories" below, we started reporting on Highway 174 stories as early as 2004. There were a flurry of stories throughout 2008 and 2009 when the Federal and Provincial Governments came up with money to initiate a study on upgrading Highway 174 from Trim Road in Orleans, east to Canaan Road. However the City of Ottawa did not buy in to the plan and the matter lay dormant. Two years later (2012), the issue came up again, this time leading to an environmental study, then a round of open houses in 2013. This page contains the reported stories from 2004 to 2013. For the latest stories, click here...) -Editor

Highway 174 - Rockland to Ottawa
(For current stories, click here...)

Previous stories regarding Highway 174 (2004 to 2013)

Feb.2013: Notice of Round #1 of Public Open Houses
May 16/12: Highway 174 repaired earlier than expected (Update: Ottawa Citizen)
May 4/12: May 3 was deadline for environmental assessment proposals
May 2/12: Highway 174 goes high-tech
April 24/12: Province approves funding to expand environmental assessment for Highway 174
Feb.14/12: Queensway expansion (including 174 at split) to occur in two phases
Sep.24/10: Cumberland Ward councillor Stephen Blais during election, on Highway 174
Dec.19/09: It's still true -- 'Pray for me, I drive the 174' (Letter-to-Editor)
Dec.10/09: Ignoring Hwy. 174 (Letter-to-Editor)
Dec.9/09: City should get moving faster on 174 upgrades(Letter-to-Editor)
Dec.3/09: Ottawa looks to province to help upgrade Hwy. 174
Dec.3/09: Hwy. 174 safety audit calls on city to invest in additional road improvements
Dec.3/09: Commentary: Debate over Hwy. 174 has long-term ramifications
Dec.3/09: MPP applauds Ottawa transport study report December 3, 2009 (Vision)
Apr.24/08: Ottawa opts out of study for Orléans-Rockland road
Apr.21/08: Rockland vs. Orléans: How two communities stack up
Apr.17/08: Commuters held 'hostage' if road not widened: MPP
Apr.14/08: Ottawa says no to $80M 'gift' to widen Hwy. 174
Apr.10/08: Related story: Councillor wants to replace Cumberland ferry
Oct.19/07: Feds ante up funds to help widen Hwy. 174
Sep.02/04: Fatal Accident on Highway 174 at Canaan Road

This issue is vital to the thousands of residents who live along the Ottawa river and in the many towns and villages both to the north and south. We thought it important enough as early as 2007 to start up a page covering the saga of Highway 174. Will it ever be widened?

Your comments are

Read what Wikipedia has to say about Highway 174: More...

Here are some
related stories:

Ottawa councillor wants to replace Cumberland ferry. More...
Cameron and Highway 174

Traffic Cameras at 174/Trim and
Cameron Street at 174
(Go to the main list, and
Click on the camera you want to see.)

This is Highway 174 on November 7, 2001
Highway 174, November 7, 2001. Things haven't changed! (Photo-Patrick Meikle)

Notice of Round #1 of Public Open Houses
The United Counties of Prescott and Russell in partnership with the City of Ottawa are undertaking a Class Environmental Assessment (EA) study for the Ottawa Road 174 and Prescott-Russell County Road 17 corridor from Highway 417 to County Road 8 (Landry Road).
There are three meetings scheduled for this week, in three locations:

Tuesday, February 5, 2013 (Cumberland)
Cumberland Lions Club, Maple Hall
2552 Old Montreal Road, Cumberland
6:30 to 9pm, presentation at 7:00

Wednesday, February 6, 2013 (Orléans)
Sir Wilfrid Laurier Secondary School, Cafeteria
1515 Tenth Line Road, Orléans
6:30 to 9pm, presentation at 7:00

Thursday, February 7, 2013 (Rockland)
City Hall, Council boardroom
1560 Laurier Street, Rockland
6:30 to 9pm, presentation at 7:00

For more information click here.
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Highway 174 to be repaired earlier than expected
(CTV News - Updated: Wed May. 16 2012) The city of Ottawa will begin fixing Highway 174 from Montreal Road to the split earlier than expected.

Ottawa Councillor Stephen Blais says repairs will begin in mid to late July and will continue until November. Crews will fix more than 200 road joints with asphalt and fully resurface the road.

Work will be done in the evening and on weekends to minimize traffic disruptions. Ten million dollars has been earmarked for the project.

UPDATE from the Ottawa Citizen:
The city has found what it hopes will be a permanent solution to the rough surface that has plagued Highway 174. The work is to begin in mid-July and will last into November. Read more...
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May 3 was deadline for environmental assessment proposals

(Ottawa Business Journal, Friday, May 4, 2012) The City of Ottawa and the United Counties of Prescott and Russell are seeking professional engineering services to alleviate congestion in the Highway 174 and Prescott-Russell County Road 17 area.

Thursday was the deadline for contractors to submit proposals to the request for qualifications to help the two entities perform an environmental assessment on the east-end corridior.

This is where 174 turns in to 17 at Canaan Road and this is a typical
line-up for going-home traffic at rush hour. (Photo-Meikle)

Highway 174 is a four-lane arterial highway that turns into the two-lane County Road 17 in east Ottawa.

The study specifically targets improvements to Highway 174 between the "split" (interchange with Highway 417) to Canaan Road, as well as fixing up County Road 17 from Canaan Road to Landry Road in Prescott-Russell.

The assessment is supposed to protect transportation demand while taking into account houses, businesses and environmentally sensitive areas situated near the highways. There will also be an emphasis on bringing in people by other means of transportation, such as bikes and buses.

The contract is expected to take 24 to 30 months to complete from the time it is awarded, with a completion deadline of no later than March 31, 2015. While the legal agreement between the City of Ottawa and Prescott-Russell is still being worked out, Prescott-Russell anticipates it will handle the procurement for the entire process. Read more...
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Highway 174 goes high-tech

(Ottawa Citizen, May 2, 2012) During a meeting of city council’s transportation committee this Wednesday morning, Orléans Councillor Stephen Blais pointed out that this impending project on Highway 174 is a big deal.

Ottawa Road 174 serves as the major corridor into the city for residents in the east end of the City. During construction of the LRT, buses will be diverted onto Highway 174 between Blair and the split while construction is underway on the Transitway.

In order to improve the ability of traffic management and emergency services to respond to incidents and congestion, the following improvements are planned:

  • Traffic Monitoring Cameras
  • Variable Message Signs
  • Vehicle Detection System
  • Traveller Information System (public facing)

CFRA Radio also reported on this item. Click here to read "Technology Upgrade for the 174".

And read Fred Sherwin's article from Orleans Online:
City to spend $10M on much-needed repairs to Hwy. 174
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Province approves funding to expand environmental assessment for Highway 174
(The Review, Tuesday, April 24, 2012) After years of waiting, the province of Ontario has finally agreed to fund an environmental assessment for Highway 174 from Trim Road all the way to Rockland.

At a recent press conference, it was announced that the province is helping the City of Ottawa participate in an environmental assessment study lead by the United Counties of Prescott-Russell to look at future widening of Ottawa Road 174/Prescott-Russell Road 17.

The province will provide an additional $1 million to expand the study to cover the widening of the road from two to four lanes between Trim Road and Rockland.

The assessment is expected to take two years to complete
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Queensway expansion (including 174 at split) to occur in two phases
(Construction to run from summer 2012 to 2015)

(Ottawa Citizen, February 14, 2012) The Ministry of Transportation of Ontario plans to keep three lanes open in each direction during the expansion of Highway 417 between Nicholas Street and the split with Highway 174 in the east end.

MTO officials said construction of the expansion - which is to take the 417 from three lanes to four in each direction in that stretch - would happen in two phases.

The first, starting this summer and continuing into 2014, will involve widening the outer portions of the highway. In the second stage, in 2014-15, traffic will be shifted outward to include the newly constructed sections to allow for completion of the widening towards the highway median.

To minimize the disruption caused by the expansion project, the MTO will use rapid replacement construction techniques to remove and replace bridges over the highway at Lees Avenue, Vanier Parkway and Belfast Road. Read more...
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Previous stories regarding Highway 174

Cumberland Ward councillor Stephen Blais on Highway 174:
(During his run up to the 2010 election)
(Ottawa Citizen, September 24, 2010)
What specific measure will be your top priority if you’re elected?
The road network in the East End has been left to deteriorate while suburban development continues and there are more and more cars, in part because we don’t have superior bus solutions anymore. This is costing east end commuters who spend time idling in traffic that would be better spent at home with their families. Some specific priorities: ensure that city hall finally invests in widening Trim Road and Hwy 174; and finishing the Blackburn bypass in the next term. Councillor Jellett had 7-years to ensure he delivered these investments but we are stuck with the same problems, and east end residents can’t afford to wait anymore. Read more...
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It's still true -- 'Pray for me, I drive the 174' (Letter-to-Editor)
(The Ottawa Citizen - December 19, 2009)
Re: City should get moving faster on 174 upgrades, Dec. 9.(Below)
Darryl Martella's letter regarding Highway 174 is right on the mark.

I learned to drive in 1967 and got my licence in Rockland. Living in Cumberland for 35 years, I drove the 174 daily to work in Ottawa and often to social events in the city. At the time, the highway was known as Highway 17.

I always felt that one day, I would meet my maker on that road and did have a close call on more than one occasion. Over the years, I personally have lost four close friends to this highway.

At one time, many vehicles sported bumper stickers reading "Pray for me, I drive 17." This highway was dangerous even before the 417 was built and which was touted to be the answer to the many accidents occurring on 17 by reducing traffic. How wrong could that have been?

At best, the 417 took some traffic travelling directly between Montreal and Ottawa away, but certainly did nothing to reduce local traffic, traffic entering the 174 from the ferry bringing travellers and workers from Masson, Que., to Cumberland, nor the many business vehicles required to deliver goods to outlying communities. And the situation continued to worsen, and at quite a rate, given the growth of bedroom communities in Cumberland, Rockland and towns easterly.

As Martella pointed out, politicians, for whatever reason, continue to ignore the issues. And of course, the situation has been further exacerbated with the ever-changing levels of government responsible for this highway. The 174 needed widening to four lanes back when the 417 was built and still nothing has been done.

I agree with Councillor Rob Jellett, but he is only one person at the head of a long line of politicians who have done nothing to make this issue a priority. How many more lives will be taken before some government approves funds for this major thoroughfare?

Instead of yet another government assessment or study, someone should do a history of this highway: the lives lost, the accidents, the increase in traffic volumes, and comparisons with other major routes, Then they should present it to all levels of government which have, or should have, a part in making the improvements required.

My personal solution? Once retired, I moved from the area and now rarely have to drive the 174.
Pat Tierney, Cardinal
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Ignoring Hwy. 174 (Letter-to-Editor)
(The Ottawa Citizen - December 10, 2009)
Re: City should get moving faster on 174 upgrades, Dec. 9.(Below)
The major fault with the lack of any upgrades to Highway 174 from the Split to Rockland lies with the Liberal provincial government and the Ottawa-Orléans MPP Phil McNeely. His inability over his two terms to secure attention to provincial financing for upgrades to 174 speaks for itself.

While the city bears some responsibility, let's not miss the root of the problem. For a premier whose hometown is Ottawa, thanks for nothing!
James Wood, Ottawa
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City should get moving faster on 174 upgrades (Letter-to-Editor)
(The Ottawa Citizen - December 9, 2009) Re: Ottawa looks to province to help upgrade Hwy. (Below)
(As a driver who uses the Highway 174 route daily, Darryl Martella wants road improvements to be accelerated to reduce the dangers of driving on this important thoroughfare.)

When I first learned to drive more than 13 years ago, my father repeatedly warned me about the dangers of driving on Highway 174. Now, as an adult who uses the 174 on a daily basis, I still can't believe very little has been done to upgrade what amounts to be the only major thoroughfare in Orléans.

What bothers me most, though, is the lack of attention this road receives by our elected officials, except when it comes time for an election year. My councillor, Rob Jellett in Cumberland ward, now calls the 174 a "disaster and needs a lot of work."

Well, Jellett has been on council for the past seven years, but he has not spoken about the need for 174 repairs, at least not until an election year. Surely some of my hard-earned tax dollars, namely the two-per-cent infrastructure tax, could have gone towards the 174, rather than buying dilapidated schools in the south and west ends of the city or on buying carpets and cabinets?

With an election on the horizon, city officials have now written to the provincial government, saying it is OK to conduct an assessment for the widening the 174.

In spring 2008 ("Turn down $80M to fix Highway 174, council told," April 15), Jellett was the leading voice at city hall to reject the offer of $80 million which the federal and provincial governments promised to spend on widening Highway 174 from Trim Road to Rockland.

Back then, Jellett said the proposed road expansion would have so little benefit for the city he cannot support it, and he said the demand for 174 improvements was coming from outside of the city, so no city money should go into it.

As someone who uses this important thoroughfare, I certainly want major work done on the road.
Darryl Martella, Ottawa
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Ottawa looks to province to help upgrade Hwy. 174
(The Ottawa Citizen - December 3, 2009) Highway 174 is a "disaster" and needs a lot of work, says Cumberland Councillor Rob Jellett. A safety analysis presented to city council's transportation committee on Wednesday shows that 270 collisions occurred on the highway and connecting roads within city limits between Jan. 1, 2003, and Dec. 31, 2007. Five of the collisions resulted in fatalities and 52 caused injuries, according to the report. The committee approved a motion to ask the Ontario government to conduct an environmental assessment on widening the road. The city wrote to the provincial government in April stating it would give the necessary authorization to conduct an assessment for the widening of the highway, but has not received a response. The east-side highway used to be owned and maintained by the province, but was transferred to the city's control in the late 1990s.
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Hwy. 174 safety audit calls on city to invest in additional road improvements
(Courtesy Fred Sherwin "Orleans Online")
A study conducted to assess safety issues along the eastern portion of Hwy. 174 east of Trim Road, calls on the city to make a number of improvements along the busy roadway which has been the scene of 270 collisions and five fatalities from Jan. 1, 2003 and Dec. 30, 2007.

The majority of the accidents occured along two consecutive sections of the roadway -- from Trim Road to Quigley Hill Road and from Quigley Hill Road to Cameron Street.

To read the entire article,
click here.
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Commentary: Debate over Hwy. 174 has long-term ramifications
(Courtesy Fred Sherwin "Orleans Online")
A report addressing safety issues along the eastern portion of Hwy. 174 between Trim Road and the border with the United Counties of Prescott-Russell has once again raised the debate over who's responsible for the problem and who should pay to fix it.

Increased growth in Clarence-Rockland means increased traffic on Hwy. 174 which will eventually end up at the split. And there in lies the problem. You can not study the future widening of Hwy. 174 in isolation, which is why if the Environmental Assessment process were to proceed, it should be done within the greater context of the impact the project will have on the rest of Hwy. 174 and especially the split.

To read the entire article,
click here.
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MPP applauds Ottawa transport study report December 3, 2009 (Vision)
The Vision Newspaper from Rockland also reported on the study, saying that "The City of Ottawa's own traffic safety study says that a 12-kilometre stretch of Highway 174 between the municipality and Rockland is too expensive in terms of accidents to remain a two-lane setup." More...
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Ottawa opts out of study for Orléans-Rockland road
(The Ottawa Citizen - Thursday, April 24, 2008) Ottawa City Council voted yesterday(April 23) not to participate in preliminary studies for a proposed freeway between Orléans and Rockland.

During the last provincial election, the Ontario Liberals announced $40 million for the project and said it would go ahead if the federal government would contribute $40 million (which it did), the city $15 million and Prescott-Russell County $9 million.

Last month, the province also offered the city a grant of $5 million for the preliminary studies. Leaders in municipalities east of Ottawa say they need the road, but city transportation planning staff said Ottawa should reject the road and money because the city can't afford it, city plans don't call for a widening of the road until after 2021, and it goes against the goal of creating a more compact city.

Council voted 18-1 to allow the province or the counties to do the studies on a roughly seven-kilometre section on the 22-kilometre road inside the city's boundaries.

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Rockland vs. Orléans: How two communities stack up

(Tony Spears - The Ottawa Citizen, Monday, April 21, 2008) Rockland doesn't make sense. It has box stores and parkland, housing developments and virgin creeks.

Residents embrace public transport, but spend over two hours a day driving back and forth from Ottawa or Gatineau.

So it is only fitting that Rocklanders are divided over the City of Ottawa's decision to nix the proposed widening of Highway 174, in spite of an $80-million offer from the federal and provincial governments. The city even refused a $5-million grant to study the proposal.

CREDIT: Bruno Schlumberger, The Ottawa Citizen
The torrid expansion of Rockland may end the community's sense of relative isolation.

This came as a shock to Pamela Boisvert, who assumed the expansion was a done deal. She and husband Jacques are house-hunting in Rockland and in Orléans. This new wrinkle makes their choice that much harder.

Orléans is a shorter commute, but they feel it has become indistinguishable from Ottawa proper, the Big City.

Rockland is "a community unto itself," she said, in large part because of the swath of nature buffering Rockland from its suburban neighbour.

The road itself is fit for a car commercial. It follows the curves of the Ottawa River, pristine forest lining the south side. Trouble is, there's no traffic in car commercials. With no safe place to pass, accidents, snow and even obstinate, speed-limit-obeying drivers can hopelessly snarl traffic in either direction.

This is the crux of the matter: Rockland's strong sense of community comes from its relative isolation. Residents would love easier access to Ottawa, but how keen are they to host a migration of disaffected urbanites, eager to escape the chaotic city?

Sylvie Béland sees pros and cons in Rockland's expansion. On the one hand, more people in Rockland means better local amenities, which is important for someone who works eight hour shifts then drives her children to hockey games and gymnastics. Up at 6 a.m., most nights she isn't home before 9 p.m.

On the other hand, leaving the road as it is might preserve her peaceful, rural life a little while longer. Not that she gets many chances to appreciate it.

But Rockland is already thriving. "Booming," corrects Gilles Brunet, a neighbour of the Bélands. The evidence is everywhere.

First-time visitors to Rockland might be forgiven for grimacing when the natural landscape gives way to a hangar-sized Wal-Mart.

Further in, stone houses occupy twisting mazes of residential streets. Massive dirt pits promise more of the same -- as well as soaring property taxes.

Combined with outrageous gas prices, it's getting increasingly difficult for self-described middle-income families like the Bélands to continue to live in Rockland.

"We might as well pay a bit more to live in Orléans," she said, usually an unthinkable thought in Rockland.

With four cars in their garage, the gas savings alone would be astronomical. No wonder they bought a hybrid.

The Boisverts should take note.

Widening the road will almost certainly hasten the already torrid expansion of Rockland, which is now home to drive-through banks, Independent grocery stores and a cavernous Shopper's Drug Mart -- in short, many of the comforts of a big city.

Residents might benefit in the short-term, but, like the Bélands, they might find themselves priced out of their Eden.

But the closest alternative -- living in Orléans -- verges on blasphemous to many.

Orléans is widely derided by Rocklanders and even the Boisverts wouldn't choose to live there if it weren't for its proximity to Ottawa. Orléans backyards are tiny -- unacceptable to budding Wayne Gretzkys.

"We have a very active five-year-old," said Ms. Boivert. Just like his hockey hero, the little one wants a backyard skating rink.

Lauraine Goyette likes to describe Rockland as being "half country, half city." She has a creek in her backyard where her kids canoe in summer and ski in winter.

"It's my house and my cottage," echoed Roger Bédard, an airport worker who's lived in Rockland for 25 years. His lot measures 160 feet by 140. That kind of space just isn't available in Orléans.

The world is shrinking. Public transportation gets Ms. Boivert into town in a little over an hour, even without extra lanes. Improving service could help reduce cars on the highway.

"It's really designed for us government workers," she said, explaining that service is only available during peak hours.

Two years ago, she never would have wanted to live so far from Ottawa. Now that Rockland's thriving -- but not too much -- she hopes to combine the advantages of working in the city, with Rockland's "calmer way of life."

She'll meet her future down on Highway 174.
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Commuters held 'hostage' if road not widened: MPP
(Thursday, April 17, 2008, Lee Greenberg, Ottawa Citizen) (Toronto) An Ottawa-area MPP says the city will be holding commuters from his riding "hostage" if council blocks a project to widen Highway 174.

Jean-Marc Lalonde, MPP for Glengarry-Prescott-Russell, is pushing the city to go ahead with the 22-kilometre road expansion project, which would serve commuters from Rockland and other communities east of Orléans. Mr. Lalonde said four-laning the eastern highway, a project first considered more than 20 years ago, is long overdue. He says 70 per cent of the Rockland labour force commutes to Ottawa.

On Wednesday, the city council's transportation committee voted against initiating an environmental assessment on the highway, despite the offer of a $5-million grant from the province to do so.
The move reflects a distaste for the project among city staff, who believe it is too expensive and will promote sprawl.

About seven kilometres of the proposed expansion fall within Ottawa's borders.

Mr. Lalonde, a former mayor of Rockland and an MPP since 1995, said his constituents were upset by the latest development, which appears to put responsibility for the project on smaller municipalities east of Ottawa.

"They're saying, 'No, no, we don't want your traffic, take another road'," he said in an interview. "I would call that (taking them) hostage."

Mr. Lalonde said he believed the project was far from dead, despite the latest development. It was a thought echoed by Premier Dalton McGuinty.

"The decision to expand 174 was made to keep people and goods moving safely and efficiently and to help attract new investments to the Ottawa area," Mr. McGuinty said in a statement issued to the Citizen.

"I remain hopeful that the city will partner with us on this project."

The provincial Liberals first issued the funding pledge during the fall election campaign. The $40 million the province offered to contribute was subsequently matched by the federal government. The plan calls on the city to participate to the tune of $15 million, less than its traditional one-third funding share associated with capital projects.

Prescott-Russell County is also expected to contribute $9 million.
East-end councillors, such as Rob Jellett, have backed the staff position, questioning the wisdom of widening a highway used by commuters from outside the city.

It is unclear whether Phil McNeely, the MPP for Ottawa-Orléans, agrees with that position. Mr. McNeely did not return several phone calls to his office Thursday. Mr. Lalonde said the two men, who have sat on the same Liberal benches at Queen's Park for four-and-a-half years, have not discussed the project.

"I really don't know what his position is," he said.

Transportation Minister Jim Bradley said he'll be watching that debate closely. "I'll be very interested in seeing what the City of Ottawa has to say," he said.

"At the end of the day, you need three willing partners and if one of the partners is not willing to proceed, then we have to obviously regroup and see where we go from here," said Municipal Affairs Minister Jim Watson.

Ottawa's full city council is to debate the environmental assessment on Wednesday (April 23, 2008).
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Ottawa says no to $80M 'gift' to widen Hwy. 174

(Monday, April 14, 2008) The Ottawa Citizen is reporting that the City of Ottawa's transportation planning staff are recommending the municipality say no to federal and provincial government offers of $40 million each to widen Highway 174 from Trim Road in Orleans to Rockland.

staff report on the issue says the proposed 22-kilometre freeway isn't needed and will encourage sprawl. It adds that a commuter-rail line could service the area, and the city doesn't have the $15-million share the province wants it to pay.

It recommends the city refuse to even accept a grant of $5 million being offered by the province to do the preliminary studies on the road widening, which would include about seven kilometres inside the city's boundaries.

The recommendation is scheduled to be debated by councillors on the city's transportation committee Wednesday, and the mayor of Clarence-Rockland Richard Lalonde is flabbergasted.

"This is an $80-million gift, and they should be jumping on it," he said. "I can't understand why they won't participate."

The rock cut looking east.
The "famous" rock cut had been the target of lovebirds and grafitti|
artists for years until the Highway department put up the fence.

(Photo 2001 - Patrick Meikle)

In the report, city staff say the municipality should reject the road for a number of reasons. They say the city can't afford it, city plans don't call for a widening of the road until after 2021 at the earliest because there isn't a need, it goes against the goal of creating a more compact city, and that there are many much cheaper ways to make the road safer, if that is a concern.

Furthermore, they say several eastern Ontario municipalities, led by the city, are looking at establishing a commuter-rail system that could run directly from Rockland to the Ottawa Via station where riders could transfer to the city's transit system.

report says the proposed road would have little value to the city and that the municipality has many other, more important infrastructure projects it can't do already due to a lack of funds. And it lists several other reasons not to build the road.

"A widened freeway in the rural area could also encourage sprawl and out-migration to surrounding municipalities, which is not in line with the city's smart-growth principles," the report says. "(The money) could be put to better use."

These words both stunned and pleased Capital Council Clive Doucet who has been saying in vain for years that governments have to stop building roads and focus on transit. He said this is the first evidence city planners are beginning to understand that the way the municipality has been allowed to grow is not sustainable and if it continues, it will collapse financially and environmentally.

"It sounds like sanity is finally starting to prevail in this city for the first time in two years," Mr. Doucet said. "I've never seen this city contemplate refusing money for a road. This is the first proof that maybe we are moving in the right direction. Maybe."

Cumberland Councillor Rob Jellett whose ward the road would run through supports the city staff position. He said the proposed road would have so little benefit for the city, he cannot support it. He said he'd have no problem with the province doing the study itself, and, if it showed a reasonable plan for a road expansion, he might support it.

But he said no city money should be put to any aspect of the project.

"The demand for this is coming from outside the city, not in the city," he said. "This is just not something we would do."

People in the areas east of Ottawa have been pushing for the road widening for years.

During the last provincial election, the Ontario Liberals announced $40 million for the project, and said it would go ahead if the federal government would contribute $40 million, which it did, the city $15 million and Prescott-Russell County $9 million.

Under the provincial plan, the city was supposed to administer the project.

Mr. Lalonde said 70 per cent of people living in Rockland commute to Ottawa each day to work, and that a wider connection to the city would help economic development in his area. He said that with city support doubtful, his municipality is prepared to take the lead on the project.

He said his government is prepared to take the $5 million provincial study grant, do the work, and then when it's done in a couple years, consult with the city on how to proceed.

Ottawa Mayor Larry O'Brien met with Mr. Lalonde and other municipal leaders from the area east of Ottawa and provincial and federal representatives to discuss the issue Monday afternoon. Members of his office said he had not taken a position on the issue yet, but would do so after the meeting and consultation with city staff that recommend against the road.

Following the meeting, Glengarry-Prescott-Russell Liberal MPP Jean-Marc Lalonde said he will be pressing for the province to take over the necessary studies for the widening, but if that doesn't work, he's content to have the county take the lead. Members of the county council at the meeting said they are interested in doing so, and the matter will go to a vote at the county level next week.

The MPP also stressed that any study will take into account and suggest fixes for the chronic traffic bottleneck at Highway 417 and city road 174.

Mr. Jellett and other east-end Ottawa councillors were at the meeting. He said the city's position hadn't changed.

"Our position is that this is not needed in the short-term, but if the province or the county wants to do this study we will provide information and cooperate and see what they come up with," he said. "But we aren't prepared to put any more in because we don't think this is needed."

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Councillor wants to replace Cumberland ferry  
(Courtesy EastOttawa.ca - February 9th 2008) In a related story, Beacon Hill-Cyrville Councillor Michel Bellemare says the recent announcement of federal and provincial funding to widen Highway 174 from Orleans to Rockland makes the proposed Masson-Angers – Cumberland bridge even more viable.
Read the full story here...
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Feds ante up funds to help widen Hwy. 174  
(Courtesy Fred Sherwin, Orléans Online October 19, 2007) For many people who live along the Hwy. 174/County Road 17 corridor between Trim Road and Rockland, the idea of widening the highway from two lanes to four lanes, or even adding a passing lane, has been little more than a pipe dream.

Then, during the provincial election, the Liberals promised to make the project a post-election priority, saying they were ready to commit their share of the dollars to make it happen and in the puff a smoke the pipe dream suddenly became a very real possibility. However, there was one very large piece of the puzzle missing – the Liberals commitment was contingent on the federal government being a significant partner.

The puzzle piece was put into place this morning with the announcement that federal government is willing to ante up $40 million.

Ottawa-Orléans MP Royal Galipeau and Glengarry-Prescott-Russell MP Pierre Lemieux made the announcement along with Transportation, Infrastructure and Communities Minister Lawrence Cannon and Environment Minister John Baird during a ceremony at the corner of Trim Road and Hwy. 174 this morning as part of the $33 billion Building Canada infrastructure plan.

The final piece of the puzzle must still be provided by the municipality of Clarence Rockland and the City of Ottawa who will have to come up with the remaining $24 million to make the $104 million project a reality.

Phase 1 of the project will include a series of public hearings and an an Environmental Assessment process which could take up to three years to complete.

Construction can start soon enough for commuters who use the corridor on a daily basis. The project is seen as long overdue considering the recent growth of Clarence-Rockland and the safety record of the existing road way.

This morning’s announcement came less than 12 hours after a 43-year-old man was killed when his vehicle left the road and flipped over near Quigley Hill Road, about halfway between Trim Road and Cumberland Village. It was the third fatal accident and fourth such fatality along that particular stretch of Hwy. 174 in the last three years.

Commuters and residents living in the corridor have been hoping the province would at least create a series of passing lanes to alleviate the safety concerns, but turning it into four lanes is even better, says the local MPP.

Jean-Marc Lalonde has been pressuring the Ministry of Transportation to widen Hwy. 174 ever since the former mayor of Rockland first got elected to Queen’s Park in 2003. Not surprisingly he was elated over Friday's announcement.

“This is great news for the people of Clarence-Rockland and great news for people who live along the Hwy. 174 corridor in Cumberland,” said Lalonde. “Everyone who lives, works or commutes to the Ottawa area will benefit.”

The only potential fly in the ointment is the City of Ottawa’s concerns over the potential impact the additional lanes will have on the Hwy. 174/417 split and traffic along Hwy. 174 between Trim Road and the split in general, but Lalonde says the province has already committed $40 million to mitigate the potential impact.
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Fatal Accident on Highway 174 at Canaan Road  
(Ottawa-Rockland, September 2, 2004) At approximately 9:20 p.m. Police, fire and EMS were dispatched to the area of Regional Road 174 and Canaan Road for a report of a pedestrian collision. Upon arrival police found a 28 year old man on the roadway. The victim apparently died on impact when a vehicle hit him as he attempted to cross the road.

(Comment: No further information was given at the time of this incident.)
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