The Province of Ontario is making its largest investment into public transportation systems ever. In its mission to keep people and goods moving, connect communities, and improve quality of life in the province, Ontario is investing $160 billion over 12 years to assess, build, and repair infrastructure. As part of this investment, the provincial government created the Connecting Links program to repair critical roadways and bridges.
Municipalities across Ontario may apply to receive up to 90% of eligible project expenses to a maximum of $3 million per connecting infrastructure project. $20 million was provided to the program last year and funding support will increase to provide $25 million in 2016-2017, while providing upwards of $30 million each year during 2017-2018 and beyond.
‘Connecting Links’ are defined as municipal roads or bridges that connect two ends of a provincial highway through a community, or to a border crossing. There are currently 352 kilometres of connecting links spanning across Ontario located in 77 municipalities.
Objectives of the Connecting Links Ontario Infrastructure Program
Ontario’s Ministry of Transportation, the government department overseeing the Connecting Links program, has identified several objectives to guide the program’s investments. Connecting Links will make strategic investments that:
- Address critical improvements for connecting links;
- Extend the life of connecting links;
- Are cost effective and appropriate in addressing the needs of the link; and
- Provide safe, efficient movement of provincial traffic.
‘Connecting Links’ are defined as municipal roads or bridges that connect two ends of a provincial highway through a community, or to a border crossing.
Ontario Connecting Links Program Eligible Applicants
There are a total of 77 municipalities across Ontario that have connecting links. All Ontario municipalities who have a connecting link may apply for the Connecting Links program. This includes:
- The Municipality of Chatham-Kent;
- The City of Barrie;
- The City of Guelph;
- The City of Brantford;
- The City of Cornwall;
- The City of Windsor; and
- Niagara Region.
To access a complete list of eligible municipalities, please view the Government of Ontario’s Connecting Links backgrounder.
Projects Eligible for the Connecting Links Ontario Government Funding Program
Connecting Links will provide Ontario government funding to municipalities who are designing, constructing, renewing, rehabilitating, or replacing critical connecting link infrastructure.
As an important distinction, only upgrading projects will be considered for these government grants. Maintenance costs, including repairs completed as part of winter maintenance, cannot be included in a municipality’s funding proposal.
All projects must demonstrate a clear need for upgrades, whether to address growing provincial traffic across the connecting link or otherwise. Detailed analysis and project planning may be required.
Ontario is investing $160 billion over 12 years to assess, build, and repair infrastructure.
How to Apply for Connecting Links Ontario Government Grants
There is a one-stage application process for Connecting Links, however substantial planning must occur before applicants submit their documentation. Included in the overall application package for Connecting Links, municipalities must submit:
- A project application form;
- An asset management plan;
- A declaration by municipal official certifying that all submission requirements have been met; and
- A council resolution or bylaw in support of the application.
Applications for the 2016-2017 Connecting Links program must be received by the Ministry of Transportation by Friday, October 21, 2016 at 5:00pm.
If your municipality would like to apply for the Connecting Links program, but are considering your eligibility or have questions about the application process, please contact a Proactive Funding Planner to consider how the program fits with your connecting link project.
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