The second phase of the Highway 407 East extension to Highway 35/115 is on schedule and will open to traffic in late 2019. With the warm weather, you can expect to see more impacts on traffic as the project continues.
The Highway 407 extension is being completed in two phases. The first phase is almost done: the extension of Highway 407 from Brock Road in Pickering to Harmony Road in Oshawa and the opening of Highway 412, a north-south link between Highway 407 and Highway 401 in Whitby.
The extension to Harmony Road and Highway 412 are scheduled to open to traffic this spring. Because of delays in completion, once the extension is open commuters will be able to drive on the highway free of charge until tolling is implemented.
The second phase of the Highway 407 extension includes four lanes of Highway 407 east from Harmony Road in Oshawa to Highway 35/115 in Clarington, Highway 418 (a new 10-kilometre four-lane highway running north-south between Highway 401 and Highway 407), and eight new interchanges.
There are two stages in the second phase: the extension of Highway 407 from Harmony Road to Taunton Road will open to traffic in late 2017, and the extension from Taunton Road to Highway 35/115 (as well as the new Highway 418) will open to traffic in late 2019.
Although connected to the privately owned 407 ETR, the Highway 407 extension is a separate toll road. The extension, along with Highways 412 and 418, is owned and operated by the Province of Ontario.
The Province hasn’t announced the cost of driving on the new extension but has stated the toll fees will be less than those for 407 ETR and will be used to fund infrastructure and transit.
According to Blackbird Infrastructure Group — the consortium responsible for designing and building the second phase of the extension on behalf of the Province — the $1.2 billion project is on schedule.
Tree clearing is nearly complete along the entire corridor (any usable timber will be used for firewood and other purposes). Much of the remaining brush is being chipped for use in erosion control, and erosion control fences have been erected in numerous locations to protect streams and ponds from run-off.
Utilities — including hydro, gas, and water — are being relocated. Concrete pouring and pile driving has begun on the first six overpasses and other structures in the project.
Most of the clearing work was completed over the winter to protect migratory birds (tree clearing is restricted or banned during the migratory bird nesting season from May through late July). All staff, including contractors and their employees, are required to participate in an extensive half-day safety and environmental training course before they can set foot on the site.
As half-load restrictions are in effect to protect local roads during the spring thaw, when these restrictions are lifted in May you can expect to see a significant increase in construction activity with corresponding impacts on traffic.
For more information on the project, including temporary road closures, visit www.407eastphase2.com.[/caption]