Province pushing ahead with plans for Highway 6 expansion

A stretch of Highway 6 in Guelph is seen here. (Source: http://highway6-hanloncityofguelph.ca/)

The Ontario government is moving forward with its plan to enhance Highway 6 between Guelph and Hamilton.

According to a news release on Thursday, the provincial government has issued a Request for Proposal (RFP) procurement package to design and build the Highway 6/Hanlon Expressway Midblock Interchange.

They say this move will help alleviate congestion on local roads by enhancing Highway 6 between Guelph and Hamilton and to bypass traffic around Morriston.

The province says the Highway 6 corridor is considered one of the busiest two-lane highways in Ontario, with average daily traffic volumes of 23,000 to 26,000 vehicles per day. 

“Our government is making smart investments in highways, roads and bridges to strengthen and expand our highway network,” said Caroline Mulroney, Minister of Transportation in the news release . “We are one step closer to constructing the next phase of this essential work to make our roads safer, alleviate traffic congestion throughout the communities of Morriston and Aberfoyle, and to help this important region grow.”

According to the news release, design-build teams will be shortlisted from the ‘expression of interest’ phase and will be asked to submit proposals for design and construction.

The province says the proposals will then be submitted to the Ministry of Transportation this October.

The design-build contract is set to be awarded in winter 2021/2022, with construction expected to begin later in 2022 following completion of the detail design.

Officials say the new interchange will enhance the safety and capacity of the Hanlon Expressway by removing two at-grade intersections along the Expressway. This move is meant to create an improved link between Highway 401 and the Guelph area.

The province says the removal of the at-grade intersections is necessary before construction on the future improvements at Highway 401 and Highway 6 can proceed.

Phase 1 of the Highway 6 and 401 Morriston Bypass expansion project was completed last year, with the replacement of the Puslinch Concession Road 7 Bridge over the 401.

The Ontario government has allocated more than $21 billion in funding over the next 10 years to expand and repair highways and bridges.