Ford govt. green lights controversial new Hwy 413 through Halton, Peel and York

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The Ontario government is going ahead with its plans to build the controversial Highway 413 which will run through Halton, Peel and York regions. 

The corridor will extend from Highway 400 in the east to the Highway 401/407 express toll route (ETR) interchange area in the west and will include a four-to-six-lane 400 series highway, separate infrastructure dedicated for transit and passenger stations, and intelligent transportation and truck parking. 

The Ford government anticipates it will cut commute times by up to 30 minutes for someone travelling the full length of the route when compared to the time it would take via Highways 401 and 400

“With Halton, Peel and York regions all set to grow at incredible speed, our government is saying yes to building the roads and highways that will keep these communities moving,” said Ford. “Highway 413 will create thousands of jobs while saving commuters hours of gridlock every day.”

Although the Ford government has already allocated funding for Highway 413 in its fall economic statement, its mini-budget did not list an estimated cost of the highway or a construction start date.

The Tories earmarked $2.6 billion for highways and bridges this year while committing to advance the controversial Highway 413 and Bradford Bypass which connects Highway 400 and Highway 404 in Simcoe County and York Region. Preliminary design of the preferred routes have commenced.

The province says that during construction, Highway 413 is expected to support up to 3,500 jobs each year and generate up to $350 million in annual real gross domestic product (GDP).

Questions have been raised about the environmental impact of the freeway as well as who they benefit. Opposition politicians say that the Bradford Bypass route appears to benefit Ford allies.

Environmental concerns around Highway 413 say it would cross the Greenbelt, a zone of protected land ringing around the Greater Toronto Area. Its route would harm 2,000 acres of farmland, cut through 85 waterways, damage 220 wetlands and disrupt the habitats of 10 species-at-risk.

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