Press release for opening of Highway 637 July 19, 1962
FROM: FOR RELEASE: Thursday
Information Section, July 19, 1962
Department of Highways, Ontario
NEW HIGHWAY NO. 637 FROM KILLARNEY TO TRANS-CANADA HIGHWAY 69
The new highway from Killarney, on Georgian Bay, easterly to Trans-Canada Highway 69 -- a distance of 44 miles -- will be officially opened July 20 by Highways Minister Goodfellow.
Construction of the new highway has ended the virtual isolation of the picturesque resort of Killarney on Georgian Bay.
In fact, at the Killarney end, materials and equipment were transporte by boat to Killarney during most of the year, and, in the winter months, across the ice. At the eastern end, in the early stages, bridge material was brought over the snow by tractor-train to the site of the bridges over the Wanapitei River.
More than $2,500,000 has been expended to date for construction of the 44 miles of new highway.
That it was necessary to remove 259,300 cubic yards of rock for the right-of-way is evidence of the considerable amount of rock in the area of the new highway.
The earth excavated, for cuts, and the borrow obtained for granular fill amounted to 536,900 cubic yards.
LARGE STRUCTURES REQUIRED
The selection of the most scenic route between Killarney and Highway 69 required the crossing of lakes or rivers at six points. The Wanapitei River is crossed twice, while three bridges carry the highway across rivers flowing out of Tyson Lake, and Johnnie Lake, in that order from east to west. Largest bridge is the 210-foot one near the western end of Tyson Lake, followed by a 180-foot structure at the eastern end of the same lake.
ROADSIDE PARKS IN OPERATION
The Department of Highways, Ontario, already has Roadside Parks -- with several picnic tables at each location -- in operation at Tyson Lake, some 18 miles west of Highway 69, and at the crossing of the Wanapitei River, closer to Highway 69. Both locations are in delightful surroundings.
The route chosen for Highway 637 has resulted in a "water wonderland" drive. In addition to the many views of lakes and rivers, the terrain can best be described as rolling country, with numerous rock outcrops. In many places the hills -- which frequently rise so sharply that they look like small mountains -- are capped with snow-white outcroppings of quartzite. In fact, the resemblance to snow makes many people take a second, closer look. The evergreens on the hills cause the white outcroppings to stand out all the more.
ROAD PROJECT BOOST TO LOCAL EMPLOYMENT
Local labor, from the outset, has been used to the utmost throughout all stages of construction. With the exception of key supervisory personnel, all the work has been done by men drawn from th area. The work done to date provided employment, on a yearly basis, for between 50 and 60 local men.
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July 13, 1962