Originally announced in early 2018 by Kathryn McGarry (previous Minister of Transportation), the Highway 401 Expansion project is the widening of 18 kilometres (km) of highway between the Credit River in Mississauga and Regional Road 25 in Milton. This is part of the Government of Ontario’s plan to commit more than $2.5 billion to repair and expand provincial highways and bridges across the province. Ontario is currently making the largest infrastructure investment in hospitals, schools, public transit, roads and bridges in the province’s history.
The Highway 401 expansion will assist in easing congestion, allow for moreefficient transportation and flow of goods, and help accommodate continued population and employment growth in the region. The expansion project will bestructured as follows: 12 lane core-collector system from the Credit River to Winston Churchill Boulevard, 10 lanes from Winston Churchill Boulevard to Highway 407 ETR / Highway 401 interchange, 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. There will also be median High Occupancy Vehicle (HOV ) lanes and support facilities and features – drainage, lighting, signage, ATMs, carpool lots, etc.
Highway 401 has been labelled the busiest highway in North America, specifically the section of the highway that runs across the City of Toronto. Almost half a million vehicles pass through the busiest part of the highway on a daily basis. The average daily traffic count on Highway 401 across Peel Region and Halton Region ranges between 118,000 and 175,000 vehicles per day.
The project will be delivered under Infrastructure Ontario’s Alternative Financing and Procurement model, which invites the private sector to be involved with the design, construction and financing of the project. It is currently at the Request for Proposal (RFP) stage with successful bidders to be announced in 2019. The estimated completion date of the project has not yet been announced.
The Greater Toronto Area’s (GTA) suburban regions (Durham, Halton, Peel, and York) are projected to add 1.8 million people between 2016 and 2041. Peel and Halton are projected to add over 717,000 and close to 327,000 new residents, respectively, within that time period. This represents approximately 58% of the total new population growth across all suburban GTA markets.
As global companies continue to find the GTA a strategic location for their Canadian operations, resulting in a robust commercial real estate market, the Highway 401 expansion project will add much-needed relief for residents and employees commuting to and from the region on a daily basis.
Source: Avison Young