Niagara NDP MPPs Demand Answers From Ontario’s Premier on the Ongoing Thorold Tunnel Fiasco

Ontario Ministry of Transportation is Reportedly Looking at Closing  Problem-Plagued Thorold Tunnel to Two-Way Traffic

“We have had local business owners tell us this is a disaster for business, residents tell us about the hardships this will cause and local elected officials are demanding a meeting to get answer about when the Ministry knew the tunnel was unsafe.”                   – Niagara Fals MPP Wayne Gates

“Is the(Ontario transportation) minister prepared to listen to local elected officials and take the necessary steps to maintain the current traffic configuration in order to ensure our community is safe, accessible and moving efficiently?”                                              – Niagara Centre MPP Jeff Burch

Thorold Tunnel running under the Welland Canal in Niagara, Ontario, shut down temporarily again this past October due to another in a series of potentially deadly accident that occurred inside. Photo by Doug Draper

A News Release from the Constituency Officies of Niagara Centre MPP Jeff Burch and Niagara Falls MPP Wayne

Posted November 21st, 2019 on Niagara At Large

QUEEN’S PARK NDP MPPs Jeff Burch (Niagara Centre) and Wayne Gates (Niagara Falls) this November 21st  urged Doug Ford to explain why the Ministry of Transportation decided to close two-way traffic through the Thorold tunnel without consulting local people.

“One-way traffic through the Thorold tunnel for the foreseeable future is not a solution; it creates a myriad of other issues and will result in major disruptions. Is the minister prepared to listen to local elected officials and take the necessary steps to maintain the current traffic configuration in order to ensure our community is safe, accessible and moving efficiently?” asked Burch during today’s question period at the Ontario Legislature.

One of the entrance ramps to the Thorold Tunnel, passing under the Welland Canal in Niagara, Ontario, and closed again this past October for yet another potentially deadly mishap in the tunnel. Over the past four months alone, the tunnel had to be temporarily closed because of a truck catching fire, a multi-vehicle collision, and concrete slabs falling from the ceiling of the tunnel falling when a truck grazed them. The Thorold tunnel, in many peoples’ mind,s, has been a nightmare for decades. At least two or three fatalities have occurred in the tunnel due to leaks of water from the tunnel walls turning to ice and other dangerous conditions. Photo by Doug Draper

The Ministry of Transportation has failed to address the difficulties this will pose for access to major hospitals, stroke clinics, and ambulance transportation – potentially putting residents at risk.

“We have had local business owners tell us this is a disaster for business, residents tell us about the hardships this will cause and local elected officials are demanding a meeting to get answer about when the Ministry knew the tunnel was unsafe,” said Gates.

“Will the ministry sit down with elected officials to answer these questions and commit extra resources to get this tunnel open as soon as possible?”

Over 24,000 vehicles pass through the Thorold tunnel each day.

To listen or watch the discussion that unfolded this November 21st in the Ontario legislature about the ongoing Thorold Tunnel fiasco, click on one of the following links –

Audio: https://www.dropbox.com/s/addmc2l2t46gisi/Q8-Burch-Gates.mp3?dl=0

Video: https://www.dropbox.com/s/ivfp2dk1p5y7jd2/Q8-Burch-Gates.mp4?dl=0

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