Stephen Blais, MPP for Orléans, and Liberal critic for Transportation and Infrastructure, today introduced the Uploading Highways 174 and 17 Act, 2021. The bill, if passed, would return Ottawa Road 174 and Country Road 17 to provincial jurisdiction after having been downloaded by the Harris Government.
“A generation ago the Conservative government of the day chose to download highways 174 and 17 to the municipalities,” says Blais. “While it was a convenient way to alleviate fiscal pressures at Queen’s Park they stuck local property tax payers with the bill.”
Since taking possession of Highway 174 the City of Ottawa has spent at least $40 million in capital and operating expenses for the highway.
“For nearly a quarter century, Highway 174 has been sucking valuable property tax dollars out of the pockets of Ottawa and Orléans residents,” adds Blais. “These funds could have been spent to address the condition of local roads, improve cycling and pedestrian connections and provide better winter maintenance on residential streets.”
Since amalgamation the City of Ottawa has passed two declarations calling for highway 174 to be reuploaded to the province.
Background on Highway 174
- Ottawa Road 174 measures 27 km in length between Highway 417 and the eastern City boundary at approximately Canaan Road.
- It is comprised of 112 lane-km of roadway
- 16 bridges, and 34 culverts.
- It operates as a four-lane divided freeway for the 14.2 km length between Highway417 and Trim Road. Auxiliary “bus-only” lanes exist over much of that length.
- Over the 12.8 km length between Trim Road and the eastern City boundary, Ottawa Road 174 is a two-lane rural highway.