Sarnia is asking for $6 million in federal funding to create an Oversized Load Corridor.
An application to the National Trade Corridor Fund was submitted recently seeking half of the $12 million needed.
A dedicated Oversized Load Corridor would relocate or remove signs, lights and other obstructions to make it faster and cheaper to transport large industrial components between local fabricating plants and Sarnia Harbour.
If approved, the project would roll out over four years and be the first project of its kind outside of Fort McMurray, Alberta.
A business case study by Canadian Pacific Consulting Services determined the corridor would help local businesses reach new customers in Atlantic Canada, the U.S. east coast, Mexico and the Middle East, retaining and creating new jobs in the high-wage manufacturing sector.
Sarnia has committed just over $4.7 million and Lambton County has earmarked $1.2 million. St. Clair Township has committed $85,000 and the Sarnia Lambton Industrial Alliance another $85,000.
If the project proceeds, utility poles would need to be replaced and traffic signals and streetlights upgraded. Where possible, swing-arms could be installed on streetlights, making it easy to move them when a load comes through.
Currently, oversized loads that pass through the city cost as much as $150,000 to pull off, and require permits and arrangements with local and provincial governments.