Ontario Budget provides news on road projects underway, mostly re-announcements and updates
Ontario’s Budget, released March 23rd, notes that “Ontario’s trucking industry accounts for about one per cent of Ontario’s GDP and approximately 36 per cent of the jobs in the transportation sector. The transportation system is the backbone of Ontario’s export-driven economy, with more than $3 billion worth of goods moving on Ontario’s highways per day.”
Following are roads investments presented in the Budget. Most have been announced previously so that any new information is an update to previous announcements.
Highway 413 at the Design/Environmental Assessment phase
The Greater Golden Horseshoe is one of the fastest-growing regions in North America. By 2051, population and employment figures in the Greater Golden Horseshoe are forecast to grow from 10 million to 14.9 million people, and from 4.9 million to 7 million jobs, respectively.
Ontario is moving ahead with its plan to build Highway 413, a new 400-series highway and transportation corridor across Halton, Peel and York regions that will bring relief to the most congested corridor in North America. Preliminary design, environmental assessment work and consultations are underway for the new route.
The proposed 52-kilometre (km) route will extend from Highway 400, between King Road and Kirby Road, to the 401/407 interchange near Mississauga, Milton and Halton Hills, with connections to Highways 400, 401 and the 407. The project also includes a four-km extension to Highway 410 and a three-km extension to Highway 427 for a total of 59 km on the corridor.
During construction, Highway 413 is expected to support up to 3,500 jobs each year and generate up to $350 million in annual real GDP.
Once completed, Highway 413 will help goods travel faster to, and through, the Greater Golden Horseshoe and save drivers up to 30 minutes each way on their commute.
Building the Bradford Bypass – contract for first bridge has been awarded
The County of Simcoe is expected to experience rapid population growth over the next 10 years, and York Region is expected to grow to approximately 1.8 million residents by 2041. To support this growth, the government is taking steps towards building the Bradford Bypass, a new four-lane freeway connecting Highway 400 in the County of Simcoe and Highway 404 in York Region. Motorists and commercial truck drivers are expected to experience significant savings of up to approximately 35 minutes in travel time when using the Bradford Bypass compared to using existing routes along local roads.
The Ontario government marked another milestone by starting construction on a bridge crossing over the future Bradford Bypass. In April 2022, the government awarded the contract to design and construct the new bridge, which will allow County of Simcoe Road 4 (Yonge Street) between 8th Line and 9th Line to cross over the future Bradford Bypass. The project will also include widening County Road 4 from two to four lanes.
Once complete, the Bradford Bypass will get goods to market faster and strengthen supply chains and is expected to support an estimated 2,640 jobs per year, on average, during construction as well as generate an estimated $274 million in annual GDP.
Widening Highway 401 from Mississauga to Milton
This map shows the widening project on the previous six-lane Highway 401 from the Credit River in Mississauga to Regional Road 25 in Milton, highlighting the following:
- A 12-lane core-collector system from the Credit River to Winston Churchill Boulevard;
- 10 lanes from Winston Churchill Boulevard to the Highway 407 ETR/Highway 401 interchange;
- A 12-lane core-collector system from Highway 407 ETR/Highway 401 interchange to east of James Snow Parkway;
- 10 lanes from James Snow Parkway to west of Regional Road 25; and
- Nine new widened bridges.
Expanding Highway 401 in Eastern Ontario
The Highway 401 corridor in Eastern Ontario is an important economic link between Ontario, Eastern Canada and the United States. It carries about 10,000 trucks with commodities valued at up to $380 million per day. The government is continuing work to widen Highway 401 from Brock Road in Pickering through Eastern Ontario, helping tens of thousands of drivers per day get to work and home faster and get goods moving quicker.
Twinning the Queen Elizabeth Way Garden City Skyway
Ontario is moving forward with the Queen Elizabeth Way (QEW) Garden City Skyway Bridge Twinning project, which includes construction of a new twin bridge on the QEW over the Welland Canal connecting the City of St. Catharines to the Town of Niagara-on-the-Lake. This section of the highway supports the province’s supply chain by linking the international border crossings at Niagara Falls and Fort Erie with the Greater Golden Horseshoe.
Building the New Highway 7
The next phase of construction for the new Highway 7 between Kitchener and Guelph will provide relief to the gridlocked Highway 401 and connect the fast-growing urban centres of Kitchener, Waterloo and Guelph. Design of the Frederick Street bridge replacement is well underway with utility work targeted to begin in 2023.
Improving Road Safety in the North, Investing in Winter Roads
The government is investing an additional $5 million in annual funding for Winter Roads Program enhancements.
The Ontario government has improved road safety in Northern Ontario by creating a new standard for clearing snow. In November 2022, Ontario established the new “ON Trans-Canada” standard, which requires contractors to clear Highways 11 and 17 within 12 hours of the end of a winter storm, four hours faster than previously prescribed.
Ontario Highways Program
The government is investing $27.9 billion over the next 10 years through the Ontario Highways Program, which includes more than 600 expansion and rehabilitation projects that are either underway or planned over the next four years. In 2023–24 alone, Ontario is investing $3.2 billion towards projects that will expand and repair provincial highways and bridges.
The Ontario Highways Program also includes widening existing corridors to increase capacity and enhance road safety for travellers by separating opposing lanes of traffic and providing additional passing opportunities, including:
Completing the widening of Highway 17 from two to four lanes for 22.5 km between Arnprior and Renfrew;
Widening Highway 3 from two to four lanes for 15.6 km between Essex and Leamington; and
Widening Highway 11/17 from two to four lanes between Thunder Bay and Nipigon for 14.4 km starting east of Highway 587.
Projects Planned or Underway
Highway 101 east of Foleyet: Bridge replacement and resurfacing work west of Highway 144.
Highway 69 in French River: Highway widening north of Highway 522.
Highway 11/17 and Highway 61 in Thunder Bay: Resurfacing work of the Thunder Bay Expressway.
Amherst Island: Amherst Island Ferry Service dock replacements.
Highway 401 in Grafton: Facility improvements at a maintenance patrol garage.
Highway 417 in Ottawa: Bridge rehabilitation and replacement at Innes Road and Ramsayville Road.
Highway 401 in Ayr: Construction of a new patrol yard at Regional Road 97.
Highway 403 in Brant: Bridge rehabilitation and resurfacing work from West Quarter Townline Road to Bishopsgate Road.
Highway 402 in Sarnia: Resurfacing work from Front Street to Lambton County Road 26 (Mandaumin Road).
Highway 410 in Brampton: Bridge rehabilitation and interchange improvements from Courtneypark Drive to Queen Street.
Highway 403 in Hamilton: Resurfacing from Jerseyville Road to Wilson Street.
Highway 400 in York: Highway widening from Major Mackenzie Drive to King Road.
Widening Highway 401 from Mississauga to Milton
“We applaud the Ontario Government’s 2023 budget, and appreciate their commitment to continuing to build Ontario with historic investments in road and highway infrastructure. Minister Mulroney has been a champion for the trucking industry and this budget will help continue to tackle gridlock and strengthen supply chains, helping to make our jobs easier every day.” --Phil Fletcher, President Truck Training Schools Association of Ontario
“OTA applauds Transportation Minister Mulroney for her ongoing commitment to investing in critical road infrastructure, which will allow our members to efficiently move the Ontario economy, now and in the future, resulting in increased investment to our province for years to come." --Ontario Trucking Alliance President and CEO Stephen Laskowski