Blocked for months during land dispute, highway around Caledonia reopens

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The Highway 6 bypass around Caledonia — closed since Oct. 22 as part of an ongoing Indigenous land dispute — has reopened.

“After a thorough assessment and completed repairs, the Highway 6 bypass has been safely reopened for traffic,” Const. Rod LeClair of the Haldimand OPP told reporters Wednesday afternoon.

But not all area thoroughfares are open.

“Traffic cannot access Highway 6 from Argyle Street due to the Argyle Street closure,” LeClair said. “Obstacles are present on Argyle Street posing traffic hazards and impeding the start of repairs and safe reopening of the roadway.”

Repairing the bypass — which land defenders vacated last month — involved filling in a pair of trenches, including one at the turn-off to Argyle Street, the main road into Caledonia from the east.

Police had closed the bypass from Greens Road to Fourth Line due to the barricades.

Six Nations land defenders still control roughly one kilometre of Argyle Street near Sixth Line, by the “back door” entrance to a 25-acre construction site on McKenzie Road the group has occupied since July 19, claiming the land they call 1492 Land Back Lane as unceded Haudenosaunee territory.

McKenzie Road still remains closed by police order after land defenders dug trenches across the road at both ends of the disputed property.

Repairs to the bypass started on Jan. 27 after an MTO inspection on Jan. 25, the Monday after land defenders had removed construction debris and other obstructions from the bypass.

At that time, LeClair said land defenders were holding up repairs by preventing access to the Sixth Line overpass that crosses the bypass, a claim 1492 Land Back Lane spokesperson Skyler Williams rejected.

J.P. Antonacci, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, The Hamilton Spectator