Wednesday, September 21 was detour day. Highway 34 was closed from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. between County Road 10 (Main and High streets) in Vankleek Hill and Pleasant Corners Road.
Canadian National Railways (CN) used the entire day to reconstruct the railway crossing at Highway 34 between Vankleek Hill and Pleasant Corners Road.
Pleasant Corners Public School, St. Jude Catholic School, and Vankleek Hill Collegiate Institute are located along the section of closed highway and remained open for classes as usual. All businesses and homes in the area were still accessible because the actual work zone was at the railway crossing.
A detour route following County Road 10, Cassburn Road (County Road 11), and Pleasant Corners Road was established for through traffic to follow because crews were working on the railroad all the live-long day.
According to a social media post from Champlain Township, it, along with the United Counties of Prescott and Russell, and the Ministry of Transportation of Ontario (MTO) tried to get CN to postpone the work but the railway, which has federal jurisdiction over road crossings, insisted on proceeding.
The full-day road closure on Highway 34 happened at a time when traffic is already being detoured due to a major culvert replacement project on County Road 17 east of Hawkesbury. County Road 17 is closed between Tupper Street and Golf Club Road for the duration of that project. Through traffic for County Road 17 is already being directed along Highways 417 and 34, including the section of 34 that is closed on September 21. As a result, traffic following the County Road 17 detour had to follow the detour for Highway 34.