A culvert replacement on the south side of the 417 overpass near Herb’s Travel Plaza was discussed at Champlain Township council’s most recent meeting. Of the two options presented to Champlain Township by the public works, complete closure of Highway 34 for 57 hours seems to be the choice of contractor R. W. Tomlinson Ltd. The other option was to install a temporary modular bridge to facilitate the culvert replacement over a period of time.

The closure will not happen before Labour Day weekend, noted the Public Works report contained in the council agenda package.

Although councillors indicated some concern about re-routing traffic, Champlain Township Mayor Gary Barton noted that for local people, it might not be “an issue”, as they will know of alternate routes to circumvent the closure.

In response to questions from West Hawkesbury councillor Pierre Perreault, Public Works Superintendent James McMahon noted that the closure will be “well-indicated” and that there will be signage a month in advance. “I’m not worried,” he told council.

A detour could likely send vehicles on Aberdeen Road, to Duval Road and from there, along County Road 10 to Vankleek Hill’s main intersection which connects with Highway 34.

Improvements are in the works for the busy intersection at Herb’s Travel Plaza, Highway 34 and off-ramps and on-ramps for Highway 417. Numerous accidents have occurred at the busy intersection and to date, trees have been cut to improve drivers’ line of sight. But traffic signals are also in the works.

An accident occurred at the intersection as recently as Friday, July 6. No one was injured in the incident.