TORONTO, Ont. – Ontario has confirmed the preferred route for a new 400-series highway that will cut through York, Peel and Halton regions, serving an area that accounts for some of the most extensive trucking activity in the province.
Known as the GTA West corridor, the highway will run from Hwy. 400 (between Kirby Road and King-Vaughan Road) in the east to the Hwy. 401/407 interchange in the west. It will include up to four to six lanes, intelligent transportation features, and truck parking, the Ontario Ministry of Transportation says.
Details like the potential number or location of truck parking spaces along the corridor have yet to be determined, a ministry spokesman said, responding to questions from Today’s Trucking. Those will be established as part of the preliminary design process.
“The Greater Golden Horseshoe is an economic driver for the province and addressing transportation needs in this region is essential to the competitiveness of our economy,” said Transportation Minister Caroline Mulroney, in a related press release. “The GTA West Corridor will help alleviate traffic congestion and improve the movement of people and goods across the province.”
“It’s a challenging area. There’s a lot of congestion,” agrees Steve Snow, vice-president of sales, customer service and marketing at Maritime-Ontario Freight Lines, headquartered in Brampton. “Getting down to the 401 is a little tangly at the best of times.”
But the fleet is among several business interests to express concerns about a City of Brampton proposal that would incorporate multiple traffic lights along the route, which is being described as a “60 km/h boulevard”.
“It will actually have 17 intersections, and then the stopping and the starting,” Snow says. “What is the purpose of a 400-Series highway when we have to stop and go, stop and go?”
Instead, Snow says the trucking industry would be better served by a true ring road that emptied further north in Halton Region.
The province’s 2006 Growth Plan for the Greater Golden Horseshoe projected there will be 1.5 million additional car and truck trips per day in the GTA West study area by 2031. Without changes, average commuter times would be expected to increase by 27 minutes per day.
An estimated $1.8 billion worth of commodities travel to, from and through Peel Region alone on a given day, according to the region’s 2017-21 Goods Movement Strategic Plan. Peel expects to see 6 million truck trips per year by 2041.
The GTA West corridor’s environmental assessment is scheduled to be completed by the end of 2022.
- This article has been updated to include comments from Steve Snow of Mid-Ontario Freight Lines.
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