Bradford Bypass Hwy 400 404 Link

Ministry of Transportation moving forward with “Bradford Bypass”

After years on hold, the Ontario Government is finally giving the green light to the “Bradford Bypass.”

The Ministry of Transportation announced on August 15, 2019 that they’ll be going ahead with the proposed Highway 400-404 connection that had been on the back-burner for more than a decade.

“I am pleased to announce the province is moving forward with the Bradford Bypass after it was put on hold by the previous Liberal government,” recently-appointed Minister of Transportation Caroline Mulroney told reporters last week.

Mulroney added that the government won’t wait to start on the project, stating that “work on updating the assessment and preparing for design and engineering begins today.”

The previous Liberal government gave proponents of the project hope back in May 2017, when the proposed bypass was officially added to Ontario’s Growth Plan for the Greater Horseshoe Region. However, it remained on the back-burner prior to last week’s big announcement.

Significant population growth in Bradford West Gwillimbury, Georgina and East Gwillimbury has led to traffic congestion in the region, increasing the need for the bypass. Green Lane is the only east-west connection that currently exists, creating a significant bottleneck for many commuters in the area.

The bypass was originally planned as a roughly 16-kilometre highway that provided a connection from Highway 400 in Bradford West Gwillimbury and Highway 404 in the Town of East Gwillimbury. The highway would begin in Bradford West Gwillimbury between the 8th and 9th Lines and then head southeast, crossing over the West Holland River into East Gwillimbury and then over the East Holland River. The bypass would continue east, connecting at Highway 404, just north of Queensville.

Proposed access to the bypass would be available at Bathurst, Leslie, and Yonge St.

The need for the 400-404 connection only continues to increase as the population in the surrounding region keeps on growing. East Gwillimbury, for instance, is expected to see massive growth in the coming decades, as its current population of roughly 25,000 is expected to more than quadruple to 108,000 by 2041, according to the region’s growth targets.

It remains unclear whether the new highway will be a toll road, but Mulroney didn’t shut the idea that motorists would need to pay to use the bypass. It’s also not publicly known how much the project will cost.

“Those conversations are premature,” Mulroney said. “It’s important we do have those conversations. We have to review the Environmental Assessment and begin preparing for the design and engineering work. The key element is that our government approved.”