Ontario seeks company to widen 18kms of Hwy 401

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The Ontario government is seeking a company to design, build and finance the widening an 18 kilometer stretch of Hwy 401 beginning at Mississauga Road west to Regional Road 25 in Milton doubling the number of lanes from 6 to possibly 12.

This stretch represents a major bottleneck that is the bane of thousands of drivers who invariably find themselves taking in the scenery around the area. This represents a radical transformation that includes High Occupancy Vehicle (HOV) lanes in both directions.

A request for qualifications (RFQ) has been issued to find private-sector firms that meet criteria to bid for the project.

This announcement was made this week by Ontario Transportation Minister Steven Del Duca who went on to explain that funding would come from Infrastructure Ontario under its Alternative Financing and Procurement model, which uses private sector partnerships to design, finance and build large government infrastructure projects.

Typically, only after the project is completed does the government pay the private-sector company.

Del Duca said a shortlist of bidders and request for proposals are expected by the fall.

This project includes widening Highway 401 to 12 lanes from the Credit River to Winston Churchill Boulevard; 12 lanes from the Highway 407/401 interchange to James Snow Parkway; 10 lanes from James Snow Parkway to Regional Road 25; and 10 lanes from Winston Churchill Boulevard to the Highway 407/401 interchange.

This project though long overdue is welcome as things are only set to get worse as the current housing prices are pushing a record number of people to set their sights on frenzied real estate developments that are changing the landscape of towns along the 401 like Kitchener, Cambridge Waterloo and Guelph.

But given the time it will take for this project to get underway it is a given that things will get considerably worse before they get better. – CINEWS

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