Politicians promise better commute in and out of east end

It was a nightmare commute for commuters heading in and out of Orleans, Cumberland and Clarence-Rockland Thursday, but politicians are promising work is being done to prevent that type of head ache in the future.

The traffic woes were caused by the complete closure of the 174 between Trim and Cameron, as crews cleaned up a crash. The roadway was closed for nearly 24 hours, cause massive traffic delays.

Ottawa-Orleans MPP Marie-France Lalonde said the province is conducting an environmental assessment to see whether they can expand the roadway from Trim to Rockland.

"Based on the evaluation of the environmental assessment, I think this will have to be something that we would consider," she said Friday in Ottawa.

Mayor Jim Watson added once light rail runs into Orleans, there would be fewer cars on the road.

"The transit option is one viable alternative when roads are blocked," he said. "The Hunt Club ... overpass is going to take some pressure off in the east end as well and that should be opening shortly."

He said they were also working on fixing the split, and once the highway 417 widening is completed, there would be an additional high occupancy vehicle lane in the area.

The environmental assessment is expected to be completed in early 2015.

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