THUNDER BAY, ONT. — Marten Falls First Nation in northern Ontario has announced that Aecom has been hired to undertake design, consulting, construction and management services for the proposed community access road between Marten Falls and the Nakina area to the south.
A Nov. 22 release outlined steps the First Nation has taken since it signed an agreement with the Ontario government in August 2017. Marten Falls entered into a voluntary agreement with the Ministry of Environment and Climate Change to conduct an Individual Environmental Assessment (EA) and Preliminary Design for the proposed road and also established a project team and conducted one field season of baseline surveys.
Aecom will consult with Marten Falls and neighbouring communities, perform data collection and prepare technical studies and all documents associated with the project to complete the EA process, the release stated.
The access road would be the first of two phases of roadways that would connect existing provincial highways to the Ring of Fire mineral fields near James Bay.
Marten Falls Chief Bruce Achneepineskum said in the statement, “We are very pleased to note that Aecom brought a consortium of sub-consultants together to form a world-class team that includes local consulting firms as well who have recently worked successfully with First Nations to deliver similar all-season community access roads in other provinces. This project is an opportunity to move forward on addressing many socio-economic needs of the community, including access to more affordable food and housing, access to training, education, health care and employment and access to neighbouring communities.”