Construction to fix provincial highway in Sudbury prone to annual flooding complete
MPP France Gelinas and City Councillor Deb McIntosh raise a glass of the "Champagne of Ginger Ales" to celebrate the completion of road work on Hwy 537. (Andy McClelland)
SUDBURY -- In a symbolic end to an annual Sudbury flooding problem, two local politicians toast the completion of the Highway 537 rehabilitation project at Jumbo Creek with Canada Dry.
"This is cause for celebration," said Sudbury City Councillor Deb McIntosh. "It took five years and three different political parties to see this through to the properly engineered roadway we have here now. It is a testament to what we can accomplish when we work together. Slow and steady does win the race."
Back in April 2015, after being newly-elected, McIntosh became concerned about the flooding that caused the provincial highway located in her ward, 9, to close year after year. The road closure forced local residents to endure long detours and was the cause of many complaints.
McIntosh sent a letter to Steven Del Duca, the former minister of transportation who is now serving as the leader of the Ontario Liberal Party, asking about a plan to fix the road.
Nickel Belt MPP France Gelinas also brought a copy of the letter to the minister.
Del Duca committed to addressing the seasonal flooding on June 15, 2015, and confirmed that planning and design work was underway to identify a permanent solution, McIntosh said in a news release Thursday.
The project continued under the Northern Highways Program despite a change in provincial government in 2018.
"After two phases of construction on Hwy 537 over two summers, work on the roadway abutting Jumbo Creek was completed last week," said McIntosh. "For the first spring in many years the highway stayed open and residents did not have to detour because of flooding."
Gelinas said getting the road fixed was a team effort.
"It took us years to convince the Ministry of Transportation to fix the issue at Jumbo Creek," said Gelinas. "A special thank you to the people who spoke up, wrote letters, sent emails and pictures. We did it! This stretch of road should not flood anymore."