PLANTAGENET, ONT.—A newly released draft transportation plan for eastern Ontario contains more than 50 near- and long-term actions including highway expansions and public transit improvements.
Connecting the East: a draft transportation plan for eastern Ontario, released by the Ontario government, includes the expansion of Highway 417 to four continuous lanes in each direction between Highway 416 and Maitland Avenue in Ottawa; long-term planning work to widen Highway 401 to up to eight lanes in the United Counties of Leeds and Grenville; improvements to local and intercommunity bus services; support for the trucking sector by adding truck stops along Highway 401; and the development of a new marine strategy.
The plan has been informed by research, technical work, an online public survey, a series of parliamentary assistant-hosted roundtables and a separate roundtable with eastern Indigenous communities, indicates a release.
The province plans to work with municipalities, Indigenous communities and organizations, Francophone residents and organizations, transportation agencies, and local businesses to gather input and feedback.
The province will also conduct a long-range technical study of the transportation network which will involve broad engagement and will commence this summer.
“Eastern Ontario is a region that is home to over 1.8 million people with diverse transportation priorities,” said Vijay Thanigasalam, parliamentary assistant to the minister of transportation, in a statement. “By identifying these local and regional transportation priorities through consultation, we have developed a transportation plan that will address the current and future needs of Eastern Ontario residents.”