[Sudbury] City, mining companies to share costs – by Mike Whitehouse (Sudbury Star – January 13, 2012)

The Sudbury Star is the City of Greater Sudbury’s daily newspaper.

The city of Grater Sudbury is poised to announce a landmark agreement to share the costs of rebuilding a local road with area mining companies.

The deal, which will be introduced to council at its Jan. 24 meeting, will split the cost of improvements to Regional Road 4 in Whitefish between Vale, Quadra FNX and the city. The city’s share of the $20-million project is expected to be about $5 million, Greg Clausen, the city’s general manager of infrastructure, said.

The road, more commonly known as Worthington Road, serves Vale’s Totten Mine and a handful or residential and camp properties. It will also serve Quadra’s Victoria Mine, for which constr uction is expected to begin this year. When completed by 2017, Victoria Mine will employ more than 200 full-time people throughout its 15-to 20-year lifespan.

The road is in dire need of upgrading, Clausen said. That concern has been raised by residents, by area councillor Jacques Barbeau and most recently by the mining companies whose vested interests in rebuilding the road have brought them to the table.

If the city is satisfied with the Worthington Road agreement, it could spur other costs ha r i n g arrangements between the city and mining companies that depend on city roads to haul ore, Clausen said.

“This will be a win-win-win solution for the city,” Clausen said.

Pat Lewis, Quadra’s manager of business relations, made no bones about Quadra’s interest in helping pay for the road improvements. It will invest $750 million to reopen Victoria Mine and it can’t afford for the access road to be an issue, he told council in October.

As well, the road improvements will free both contributing companies from the half-load restrictions the city places on its roads in the spring.

If approved by council, tenders to begin the work will be put out later this winter, Clausen said.

The city has set aside $3.5 million in the 2012 capital budget for Worthington from Highway 17 to C . Johnson Road.