If you’ve traveled along Highway 69/400 recently between Barrie and Sudbury, you’ve probably noticed that the route has changed just north of Parry Sound. Tulloch is responsible for Contract Administration on the opening phase of this large project, which has recently opened up 17 km of new, Highway 69/400 four-laning that by passes the town of Nobel, ON.
To prepare for the opening contract, three major capital construction projects were completed to construct the new four-lane highway from the Seguin River (south end of Parry Sound) to Highway 559 (the route to Killbear Provincial Park on Georgian Bay). Tulloch staff have been involved with all three phases of this project but Tulloch was solely responsible for the Contract Administration of the middle portion. This contract was a four-year construction project that ended with the retirement of one of our long time Contract Administrators, Gerry Fletcher. We congratulate him and thank him for his outstanding effort over his 10-year tenure with Tulloch Contract Administration.
The Tulloch team administered the work of a major contractor to complete about 5 km of the new highway, which traversed through rock and swamps, over fisheries creeks, under existing roads and directly through the habitat of the Eastern Massassauga Rattlesnake. The work involved two, long, sweeping bridges set on steel girders that cross the end of Portage Lake in Nobel. It also included structures at Pineridge Drive and Avro Arrow Road, large volumes of earth and rock excavation and even underground crossings designated solely for rattlesnakes and other reptiles.
To connect the new four-lane sections to the former Highway 69 (now a service road called Nobel Road, through the town of Nobel), a new road was constructed and aptly named “Avro Arrow Road” due to the history of development and testing of the engines produced for the Avro Arrow jets. Nobel was once a booming town that was the home of two explosives factories. These factories produced explosives for both World War I and II and the town was named after Alfred Nobel, the inventor of dynamite, who used his fortune to generate the Nobel Prizes. After the wars, the abandoned bunkers and underground dynamite storage facilities turned out to be the perfect place for development and testing of the Orenda Iroquois gas turbine engine which was slated to power the ill-fated Avro Arrow jets, prior to the project being cancelled in 1958.
Tulloch’s contract and the projects to the north and south of it were all completed by the summer of 2010, when Tulloch was once again hired by the Ministry of Transportation to provide Contract Administration services for the opening of all three projects at once. The construction work on the opening project was completed without a hitch in the fall of 2010. This project is made up of many welcome improvements for the town of Nobel, which now provides greater safety for the families who live there and no longer have to deal with the volume of Highway 69 traffic passing by their driveways.
The next time you drive through this section of roadway, for about six minutes, you can think of the many years of work and nearly 200-million dollars of construction cost that brought it to fruition. It has been the driving force of many Tulloch employees over the last few years and is certainly something we can be proud of.