Ontario Throne Speech commits to highways, cites $11B in congestion costs

Ontario’s provincial government is saying it is “time to build” as clogged roads and gridlocked highways cost the provincial economy more than $11 billion per year.

The observation in the latest Throne Speech, presented on Tuesday by Lt.Gov. Elizabeth Dowdeswell, came with renewed commitments for several highway projects.

“Clogged roads and gridlocked highways not only keep busy moms and dads from getting home to their children sooner; they trap transportation trucks from getting goods to market,” she said. “Ontario cannot afford to hold its economy back. Now is the time to build.”

Queen's Park, Toronto
(Photo: istock)

The re-elected government under Premier Doug Ford has pledged to invest $86.6 billion over the next decade to build and expand roads, highways and transit infrastructure – including Highway 413 and the Bradford Bypass.

Highway 413 will serve Halton, Peel and York regions, while the Bradford Bypass will serve Simcoe County and York Region.

Other referenced highway projects include widening Highway 3 from two to four lanes between Essex and Leamington; rebuilding more than 21 kilometers of Highway 101 through Timmins; and twinning the Garden City Skyway bridge along the Queen Elizabeth Way over the Welland Canal.

The Ontario Trucking Association applauded the Throne Speech and reintroduced budget, including commitments to attract more skilled workers and address “generational” labor shortages.

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  • Would $86 Billion be enough to buy back the 407? This would move half the traffic off of the 401 and make the field fair for all instead of an expressway for the elite. It is such a waste that thousands inch along in gridlock everyday while the privileged blast at 120k on a highway that’s barely used .