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Gas tax windfall to go toward local projects

Simcoe County's Administration Building in Midhurst, north of Barrie. (Examiner Files)

Simcoe County's Administration Building in Midhurst, north of Barrie. (Examiner Files)

The County of Simcoe has several major projects underway this summer helped in part by federal government funding.

The county will receive $8.4 million through the federal Gas Tax Fund this year with roughly $5.5 million of that total applied to enhance nine road rehabilitation projects. The additional $2.9 million will support two significant roads and transportation capital projects including the Wye River north bridge rehabilitation project and the reconstruction of County Road 17 from Severn Falls north to the Big Chute.

Construction on the Wye River project started May 1 and is progressing, according to plan, with completion expected by November 15. The construction is being completed in two stages with one lane of traffic being maintained as much as possible.

The work consists of concrete repairs, elimination of expansion joints, concrete overlay, new traffic barriers and new waterproof wearing surface.

The County Road 17 project, meanwhile, is expected to start this fall and continue into 2019. The work consists of upgrading the road profile, horizontal curves and shoulders to be more in line with current county road standards.

Since 2005, the county has received $76.6 million through the federal gas tax fund to support the completion of numerous road and capital projects.

In a release, county Warden Gerry Marshall said the fund serves an important purpose for municipalities.

"Flow-through funds play such an important role in the level of services we can provide to our communities and supports our capacity to grow, develop and maintain our existing infrastructure to meet the needs of future generations," Marshall said.