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13 Jul

INFORMATION SHEET: Increased Traffic on Harris Road

Information regarding Increased Traffic on Harris Road

July 13, 2017

This information is being provided by the Township of Algonquin Highlands in response to the public’s questions about the Ministry of Transportation’s (MTO) current use of Harris Road to access an aggregate pit.

The project: The MTO is working on the reconstruction of part of Hwy 60 between Cache Lake and Pog Lake. The contractor is stockpiling 54,000 tonnes of asphalt grindings and existing granular at a ministry-owned pit on Harris Road. The pit is approximately 1 km in from Hwy 60 and trucks pass directly by approximately six properties.

All material is scheduled to be hauled into the pit by July 23rd. The material hauled into the pit will be blended with new material and reused for highway shouldering. As this is a provincial project, the Township is currently unaware when the material will be removed.

The road: The Township cannot restrict or ban trucks from using the road not only because it's a public road but also because it’s the only motorized access to those lands. The definition of a public road is not linked to the ownership or maintenance of a road, parking area, etc. but to the common use or right of use of a road by the public. 

Township staff has been in regular contact with MTO about the roadway since the beginning of the project, as is the usual process, and will continue to do so. The MTO is committed to repairing any damage done to the road during this use, although no damage has occurred to date. Such an agreement is commonplace when road use is outside traditional usage as is the case here.

The township has relayed the public’s concern to the MTO which has proven itself responsive.

Monitoring and policing: Policing of municipal roadways falls under the Highway Traffic Act and is therefore the responsibility of the OPP rather than the Township. Residents' concerns about speeding and driver use of cell phones on Harris Road have been relayed to the OPP which has committed to the Township's request for an enhanced police presence wherein officers will patrol the area as time and other duties permit.

Noise: It's fully understood that the noise of the trucks is unpleasant and disruptive to those directly affected however, municipal noise bylaws do not include construction equipment.

Public feedback: Township staff will remain attentive to, and follow up on, issues that arise within its jurisdictional purview.

The public are welcome to seek further information or provide feedback to the ministry about their project by calling Mr. Terry Ferrante at 705-789-0433.