Ontario Construction News staff writer
AECOM Canada has been awarded a contract from the Government of Ontario to begin an environmental assessment and design work for a 2+1 highway on a stretch of Highway 11 north of North Bay.
“Taking the next step to build the first 2+1 roadway in North America is just another way our government is investing in highways across the province,” said Caroline Mulroney, minister of transportation. “We’re making great progress on our plan to build Ontario as we continue to work closely with communities and safety advocates to build a safer transportation network.”
AECOM will start work on the three-lane highway project which will incorporate a passing lane that changes direction approximately every two to five kilometres. The 2+1 highway model is used in other jurisdictions around the world and is more cost efficient than twinning a highway.
“The 2+1 highway project demonstrates our government’s continued efforts to strengthen our transportation network and expand opportunities for economic growth and development in northern Ontario,” said Nipissing MPP Vic Fedeli, minister of economic development, job creation and trade. “This project will play an important role in addressing the unique transportation needs of the north, enhancing traffic flow and improving safety for individuals and businesses alike on our roads.”
The province has identified two potential locations for the 2+1 highway project:
- Highway 11 from Sand Dam Road to Ellesmere Road (14 kilometres)
- Highway 11 from Highway 64 to Jumping Caribou Lake Road (16 kilometres)
While both sites will be assessed, the design and environmental assessment for Highway 11 from Sand Dam Road to Ellesmere Road (14 kilometres) just north of North Bay will be prioritized.
Potential locations were selected based on a criteria report that was posted for comment on the Ministry of Transportation’s technical consultation portal in 2021, with input from 2+1 Advancement Working Group, which includes representation from \the Temiskaming Shores and Area Chamber of Commerce.
“The 2+1 project is one that our organization has strongly advocated for and we’re excited to see it another step closer to getting built. Northern road safety will always be our main priority and we are pleased that the Ontario government is investing in northern communities with critical infrastructure projects that will make a difference for generations to come,” said Mark Wilson, councillor, City of Temiskaming Shores.
From April 2023 to March 2024, the Ontario government is planning about $624 million to repair and expand provincial highways and bridges in northern Ontario.
The 2+1 highway project is included in the draft transportation plan for Northern Ontario which includes development of the Ring of Fire.
“This is a great step forward for the people of North Bay,” said Al McDonald, Mayor of North Bay.