Drill rigs herald future roadwork on Manitoulin Island highways

Workers pull a test core from the roadbed just outside the town Little Current on Highway 540 in preparation for work to begin in the 2017-2019 timeframe. photo by Michael Erskine

MANITOULIN—Travellers on Manitoulin highways this late fall may have experienced slight delays on their journeys as flag persons direct them past drill rigs pulling cores from the centre of the travelled lanes.

The good news is that the rigs are conducting tests for future roadwork on area highways. A communication from the Ministry of Transportation relieved some of the mystery surrounding the work.

“MTO has a service provider conducting field investigations as part of engineering for future highway repaving in eastern Manitoulin Island,” reads the short statement. “The sections under design are Highway 540 from one kilometre west of Highway 6 westerly for 45 kilometres and Highway 6 from 17.5 kilometres south of Highway 540 north for 16.7 kilometres to the southern limits of Little Current and from the Little Current swing bridge north for 2.4 kilometres.”

Although the testing is well underway, it will be some time before travellers need expect major delays due to road construction as construction is not expected to start before sometime in the 2017-19 timeframe.