Sarnia-Lambton has finally won full funding for an oversized load corridor to move large modules between local industry and the Port of Sarnia.
Federal Transport Minister Marc Garneau announced a $6-million investment in Sarnia on Wednesday through the National Trade Corridors Fund.
Part of the money will be spent on a docking facility at the Port of Sarnia.
Garneau said the more efficient route will reduce the need for road closures, and limit carbon emissions.
He said global markets will be more easily accessible through the Great Lakes and St. Lawrence Seaway systems.
“It’s very good for the economy because obviously there are products here that are in demand internationally, and they’re big products,” said Garneau. “To get those products to the port has been a challenge in the past. I want to commend the City of Sarnia and also all of the municipalities involved in this project in the Sarnia-Lambton area for putting their heads together and contributing funding.”
Sarnia-Lambton Industrial Alliance Chair Rick Perdeaux says they’ve been working to get a corridor for seven years.
“I believe the timing is very right, if anything it’s maybe a little bit behind because we’ve already had a lot of things to transport. There are going to be about another 200 or so oversized loads scheduled to be moved in the community in the next 12 months. The sooner we can get going, the better.”
Sarnia-Lambton Conservative MP Marilyn Gladu said she’s been trying to get federal funding ever since she worked at Worley Parsons in 2011.
“We have a number of companies that manufacture modules that are oversized and need to be shipped. Every time they have to move them, there are temporary cables and things that have to be done that cost between 75 and 200 thousand dollars. So, this project will make permanent a corridor that will reduce that cost, make us more competitive, and allow us to start shipping overseas.”
The 26.7 kilometre route will extend from the Port of Sarnia, to Exmouth Street, Murphy Road, Confederation Line, Blackwell Side Road, Churchill Road, Kimball Road, and out to Brigden.
Around 120 jobs are expected to be created during the construction period, and up to 3,000 jobs after that.
Local governments and an industry coalition have already committed to half the $12-million project cost.
Work on the venture is expected to begin this year.