History of Secondary Highway 622:
Secondary Highway 622 is a collector highway in the Districts of Kenora and Rainy River that provides access between Atikokan and Highway 17 west of Ignace. The long-distance highway that is in place today actually had fairly modest beginnings back in the 1950s as a mine access road. Highway 622 originally began at the northern edge of the Atikokan Townsite near Sumac Street and ran north for approximately 5 miles (8 km) to the Caland Ore Mine. A plan of the proposed highway via the Caland Ore Road was prepared by the Department of Highways of Ontario (DHO) in November, 1957. The new route was formally designated as Secondary Highway 622 by an Order-in-Council, effective January 30, 1958. The new highway was initially gravel-surfaced, but was paved in its entirety in 1958.
As originally designated in 1958, the DHO did not have jurisdiction over Highway 622 through the Atikokan Townsite via Saturn Avenue and Hawthorne Road. This non-assumed 1-mile section of Highway 622 was ultimately taken over by the DHO in the early 1960s. An Assumption Plan was prepared in September 1961, which showed the proposed assumption of portions of Saturn Avenue and Hawthorne Road as a Secondary Highway. The plan was registered on November 1, 1961, and the route through the Atikokan Townsite was designated as a portion of Highway 622 by an Order-in-Council, effective November 23, 1961. Another short extension to Highway 622 was carried out in 1961-1962, from the highway's original 1958 northern terminus to Atikokan's airport entrance road. The Atikokan Airport was at one time located northeast of the town, in a different location than Atikokan's present day airport. An Assumption Plan was prepared in March 1961, which showed the proposed assumption of an additional 1/2 mile portion of the Caland Ore Road. The plan was registered on May 19, 1961, and the 1/2 mile extension of Highway 622 was designated by an Order-in-Council, effective May 10, 1962. From the early 1960s up until 1981, Highway 622 began at Highway 11B in Atikokan and ended at Airport Road. The highway had a total length of 6.8 miles (10.9 km).
Another extension was made to the route of Highway 622 in 1981, when a new access road was built to service Ontario Hydro's proposed Atikokan Generating Station. This new extension of Highway 622 was about 7 km in length and connected to the existing route of Highway 622 about 2 km southeast of the Caland Ore Mine. The new extension was designated as Highway 622 by an Order-in-Council, effective January 29, 1981. The old route of Highway 622 leading to the Caland Ore Mine became a non-posted 7000-series highway (Highway 7177), known today as Pal Lake Road. Jurisdiction over Old Highway 622 (Highway 7177) was transferred from the province to the Township of Atikokan, effective June 5, 1992. The new extension of Highway 622 to the Atikokan Generating Station site was paved in 1980, just before it was designated as a provincial highway.
During the 1980s, a new highway was built between Atikokan and Ignace. The Ministry of Transportation and Communications (MTC) completed a transportation needs study for Northwestern Ontario in 1974. One of the recommendations of this study was to construct a new resource access road between Atikokan and the Ignace area. The plan involved a combination of improvements to an existing forest access road north of Atikokan known as the Bending Lake Road and the construction of a new road link from the northern end of the Bending Lake Road to connect to Highway 17 near Ignace. The first clearing contracts for the extension of the Bending Lake Road got underway in 1979 at both the northern and southern ends of the proposed highway's route. A grading contract for the construction of 17 km of new road was also started in 1979 from the northern end of the existing Bending Lake Road, located about 43 km north of the Highway 622 Junction near Atikokan. This northerly extension was completed in 1980. In 1982, a further 13 km of grading was commenced from the end of the completed road roughly 60 km north of the Highway 622 Junction. This work extended the length of the Bending Lake Road to a point 73 km north of Highway 622. Work was also undertaken in 1981-1982 to upgrade the existing Bending Lake Road to provincial highway standards. By the end of 1983, Bending Lake Road was completed from Highway 622 northerly for 73 km, while a further section of road was completed northerly to the Turtle River by the end of 1985.
All completed sections of the Bending Lake Road were assumed into the provincial highway system in 1984. Two Preliminary Assumption Plans were prepared dated February 23, 1984, which showed the entire completed section of the Bending Lake Road lying within the Districts of Rainy River and Kenora. The Kenora District Plan was registered on March 26, 1984, while the Rainy River District Plan was registered on April 2, 1984. The entire highway lying north of the Township of Atikokan Boundary was designated as a Tertiary Highway by an Order-in-Council, effective May 17, 1984. The new highway was designated as Highway 807, and was essentially just a northerly continuation of Highway 622. This newly-established route of Highway 807 was 66.8 km in length. The route of Highway 807 ended near Manion Lake Road, a short distance east of Side Lake. The southernmost 1.5 km section of the Bending Lake Road lying between the Atikokan Generating Station and the northern boundary of the Township of Atikokan near South Twin Lake was designated as an extension of Highway 622 by an Order-in-Council, effective May 17, 1984.
Construction began at the proposed northern terminus of the Bending Lake Road at Highway 17 in 1985. A grading contract was called for the construction of a new road from Highway 17 southerly for 9 km in 1985, with another 10 km section of new highway grading commenced in 1986 extending south from the southern end of the 1985 contract. In 1987, yet another 10 km section of grading was awarded, which extended the northern section of the new Bending Lake Road to a point 29 km south of Highway 17. It was decided not to open the completed northern sections of the new Bending Lake Road to traffic until the road was connected to the south section of the Bending Lake Road near Turtle River. The contract to grade the final 19 km link between the north and south sections was awarded in 1988, along with two paving contracts to surface the entire highway from the Atikokan Generating Station to Highway 17. The northern extension of the Bending Lake Road was completed during the summer of 1989 and the entire highway link from Atikokan to Highway 17 was officially opened to traffic in September, 1989. The new highway link shortened the road distance between Atikokan and Ignace by approximately 140 km.
After the completion of the Bending Lake Road in 1989, the newly-built road was assumed into the provincial highway system. A Preliminary Assumption Plan was prepared dated November 29, 1989, which showed the new 48 km extension of the Bending Lake Road from the Side Lake area northerly to the Highway 17 Junction. The plan was registered on February 7, 1990, and was designated as Highway 622 by an Order-in-Council, effective March 21, 1990. The two sections of Highway 807 within the Districts of Kenora and Rainy River were formally re-designated as Highway 622 by two Orders-in-Council, effective March 21, 1990 and April 4, 1990, respectively. Since 1990, the entire 131 km route from Atikokan to Highway 17 west of Ignace has been signed as Highway 622.
Unless posted otherwise, the speed limit on Highway 622 is 80 km/h (50 mph). There are no services available on this highway, although services are located on Highway 11B in Atikokan. Services are also available on Highway 17 in Ignace, about 30 km east of Highway 622's northern terminus.