Frontier Lithium ramps up pressure on Ottawa to deliver on Berens River bridge and road project
Federal funding appears to be slowly rolling out for the Berens River road and bridge in northwestern Ontario. The long-awaited infrastructure project is a vital link that would connect seven remote First Nations to the provincial highway system for the first time and allow Frontier Lithium, a Sudbury mine developer with two massive lithium deposits, to finally get its product to market.
Indigenous Services Canada told Northern Ontario Business on Friday that more than $7.7 million of the $9.5 million for the design of the bridge and road project has been released with $1.8 million scheduled for released in the 2024-2025 fiscal year.
“While the bridge design is complete,” said spokesperson Randy Legault-Rankin in an email, “further archaeological work is still required to be completed next fiscal year” on portions south of the bridge site and to the north on the proposed all-season road to Pikangikum, which would conclude the design phase.
The government did not indicate a timeline and start date for the bridge and road construction. “Details of the construction timeline and identified contractors will not be known until the project has been approved for funding and tendered. The group of First Nations is leading the project and will have a role in identifying local content and First Nations participation in the tender package.”