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“Enough is enough” on County Road 49

May 17, 2023

County demands upper-level government support for County Road 49 rehabilitation

 

Picton, ON – The County of Prince Edward is calling on the federal and provincial governments to step up and support the rehabilitation of County Road 49.

“The deterioration of this critical road has gone on for too long; enough is enough. The condition of the road has been an election issue during multiple campaigns and people want it fixed,” Mayor Steve Ferguson says. “The County has done everything it can to move this project forward and it is “shovel-ready.” Now is the time for the upper-levels of government to join us at the table.”

Opened in 1966, County Road 49 spans 18.6 kilometres, 17.5 kilometres of which is concrete pavement. The road connects Picton, the municipality’s largest settlement area, with the Bay of Quinte Skyway Bridge, one of the largest entry-points into the County. The Province of Ontario downloaded the roadway to the County in 1998.

County Road 49 serves commercial and industrial traffic, allows County residents to travel for work and appointments, and facilitates The County’s tourism and hospitality sector. The road sees average daily traffic volumes of approximately 6,000 vehicles, and 5% of that total is heavy truck traffic. The County expects that traffic will increase significantly in the next decade with new development and the completion of the Bay of Quinte Skyway Bridge rehabilitation.

The County is seeking an equal cost-sharing agreement with the upper levels of government similar to other large-scale infrastructure projects. To strategize and advocate for the rehabilitation, County Council created the County Road 49 Working Group based on a motion put forward by Councillor Chris Braney during the 2023 budget deliberations. Mayor Ferguson and councillors Braney, David Harrison, Brad Nieman, and Phil St-Jean sit on the working group.

Among the ideas being considered by the working group is a community benefit fund to support the rehabilitation of County Road 49. Through the fund, the municipality would seek financial partners to demonstrate leadership and join in financing the community share of this $29.5 million project.

“We want to send a clear message to the federal and provincial governments that this community is serious about fixing County Road 49 as quickly as possible,” Councillor Braney says. “This road is too important to the economic well-being and future of our community for it to go to waste any longer.”

County Road 49 is experiencing severe joint and slab failures, cracking, and polishing of the surface. The average weekly cost of patch repairs, including material, equipment/vehicles, and staffing is approximately $3,500 or $182,000 annually. The road frequently makes CAA’s annual Worst Roads list, receiving the dubious distinction as the worst road in Ontario in 2016.

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For media inquiries, please contact Mark Kerr, Communications and Consultation Supervisor, at 613.476.2148 ext. 1009 or by email at mkerr@pecounty.on.ca

Learn more about County Road 49 and the rehabilitation project in this backgrounder

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