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Reopening of Highway 6 in Caledonia will take weeks, says OPP

OPP closed off roads for several hours as a group of protesters lit tires on Highway 6 near Argyle Street in Caledonia, Ont on Aug. 5, 2020. Lisa Polewski / Global News

Ontario Provincial Police (OPP) say it will likely be weeks before the Highway 6 bypass in Caledonia will be open to regular traffic.

A police spokesperson says an assessment of the roadway from the Ministry of Transportation (MTO) revealed a number of safety issues, including a trench. The road has been blocked by a group from Six Nations that’s been occupying a Caledonia construction site since July.

Const. Rod LeClair says repairs will not only be needed on the bypass but on the six-line overpass as well, which is still blocked.

Read more: Six Nations group on Caledonia development site to remove barricades on Highway 6

“Demonstrators continue to prevent access to the Sixth Line overpass and continue to withhold some of the construction equipment,” Leclair said. “I don’t have an exact timeline.”

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Leclair says road crews contracted by the MTO have started the repairs.

Skyler Williams, the spokesperson for protestors involved in a land dispute over the McKenzie Meadows housing development, told Global News that last week blockages at the bypass were being removed in addition to barricades at Argyle Street and McKenzie Road.

Williams said the action was a “goodwill” gesture to accommodate those in the community who need to travel between Hagersville and Hamilton.

The closures are connected to the occupation of the McKenzie Meadows housing development which has been renamed “1492 Land Back Lane” by a group that calls itself “land defenders.” The occupiers claim the project is on unceded territory that belongs to the Haudenosaunee.

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