As of Friday morning, Fort Frances has a new avenue thanks to the re-routing of traffic necessary to accommodate the new Canada Customs facility under construction here.
Veteran Avenue—located between the 200 blocks of Nelson and Church Streets—saw its first traffic just before 8 a.m. when Mayor Glenn Witherspoon, CAO Bill Naturkach, and Operations and Facilities manager Pat Hickerson drove on it in a town car.
“It’s certainly available for public use,” said Naturkach. “But that part of Nelson Street has mostly been used by logging vehicles and for Abitibi access in general.
“I’d expect it to remain pretty much the same.”
The new road will mean a number of changes to previous traffic flow. Mowat Avenue, south of Church Street, now is privately-owned and is not a public roadway, as is Nelson Street west of Veteran Avenue.
This also means there will be a new stop sign on Veteran Avenue at Church Street. And the pedestrian crosswalk in front of the Legion has been re-located to the west side of Veteran Avenue.
Since traffic lights at Church Street and Mowat Avenue are not functional yet, three-way temporary stop signs will remain in place. This will change in the next couple of weeks, noted Naturkach.
And the north bank of parking spots in the new lot between Veteran and Portage Avenues is reserved.
A Public Works crew worked yesterday to plow the area and paint the yellow dividing line in preparation for today’s official opening.
Naturkach noted signage reading “Veteran Avenue” will be posted soon.
The new Customs facility is expected to be up and running sometime in January.