Caroline Mulroney, Minister of Transportation, announced that the Government of Ontario is connecting Northeastern Ontario with a long-awaited highway bypass project in the Town of Cochrane. This project will improve safety and reduce travel times for families and truck drivers, while creating jobs in local communities as the province reopens the economy.

The project will connect Highway 652 to Highway 11, providing an alternate route for travellers and trucks moving goods and reducing traffic on municipal roads. It is anticipated that the bypass could divert approximately 960 vehicles and 195 trucks per day away from municipal roads.

“This is a critical project as it will make it easier and safer for both travellers and truck drivers by reducing traffic on local municipal roads,” said Minister Mulroney. “We understand the unique transportation challenges of the North and are committed to ensuring everyone has access to a safe transportation network that supports northern businesses, communities and families. This also includes optimizing bus services and options for passenger rail service.”

The province is proceeding with the planning, preliminary design and environmental assessment for the extension of Highway 652 to Highway 11 at Cochrane. This is part of the government’s plan to build safer and better highways, while improving and modernizing transportation for families and businesses in Northern Ontario.

“Our government recognizes the need to improve transportation options for the people and businesses of Northern Ontario,” said Greg Rickford, Minister of Energy, Northern Development and Mines. “Today, we are taking the next step in this important project that will better connect Northeastern Ontario and help grow the local economy.”


  • Ontario is developing regional transportation plans that will help build a better transportation system to keep people and goods moving across the province, including Northern Ontario. This project is part of the province’s plan to get people where they need to go and support economic opportunities in the North.
  • The bypass would provide a connection for travellers on Highway 652 to access Highways 11, 574 and 579.
  • This is the first phase of the project, which is expected to take up to 2.5 years. Work is anticipated to begin in 2020.
  • The bypass is expected to be 2-lanes wide and between 3 and 6 kilometres in length.

The planning, preliminary design and environmental assessment will review the connection to the Rockshield, Tembec and ONR industrial facilities.

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