Fix It Up 49

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Oh, Canada. 

It's time to transform roller-coaster ride Highway 49 in our beloved Bay of Quinte!

Approximately 400 000+ tourists use this road as a main access point to the County annually. This is not just a local concern: it is a provincial, or even national obligation to fix 49. Is this highway people's first impression of beautiful, bustling Prince Edward County?

The 3rd most popular road - after Loyalist Parkway and HWY 62 - begins in Picton and travels over Skyway Bridge and north of Tyendinaga, the Mohawk Reserve. Constructed in 1965, it's put up with a solid beating for 53 years. Unlike HWY 33 and 62 in PEC, Highway 49 was downloaded to our municipality by the Provincial Govt. in 1990. Only 6km in Tyendinaga to this day are provincially maintained.

In 2016, CAA declared 49 to be "the worst road in Ontario" and a parody of Highway 49 was made on YouTube after the Beach Boys song! It's not only an unpleasant ride - it is hazardous, as CAA has identified by the number of tow trucks summoned to pick up broken-down cars from its gravel shoulders.

Simply, we need $22 million to rehabilitate this heritage highway from the Ontario or Federal Governments. We are calling on the support of MPP Todd Smith, Mayor Steve Ferguson and MP Neil Ellis to be our conduits who can take this forward to the Province. 

I have been a resident of PEC for several years. Every time I take 49, I'm struck by how disparate it feels amidst beautiful landscape, historic loyalist homes and updated infrastructure. A couple weeks ago a driver travelling the other way flashed me, signalling a cop was nearby...I was anyway going close to the speed limit, and soon enough I passed the officer who was clocking drivers' speeds. I almost smirked at the irony: you'd be bumped out of your seat if not for your seatbelt, for driving 85km/h!

Let's inject the substantial yet needed funding and "fix it up 49". Sandwiched between the lucrative Mohawk reserve and Picton, 49 deserves to be a smooth, safe ride for tourists and residents alike. Why not be proud to travel around, in and out of PEC on Heritage Highway 49...?

Thank you Prince Edward County!