• January 27, 2009 11:30 AM
  • - General

Province To Own Highway 407 Extension


    McGuinty Government Creating Jobs: Highway Tolls To Help Maintain Roadway

    TORONTO, Jan. 27 /CNW/ -

    NEWS

    The proposed extension of Highway 407 east from Pickering (Brock Road) to
Clarington (Highway 35/115) will be a tolled highway with the province
retaining control and ownership of the extension.
    The province will be responsible for regulating tolls on the highway and
meeting customer service needs. Revenues generated from the highway will go
towards the construction costs and maintenance of the road, freeing up
provincial funds for transit infrastructure projects.
    An environmental assessment study is currently underway and the
preliminary design has been identified for the highway extension. Public
consultation on the project is ongoing. The environmental assessment study
will be submitted to the Minister of the Environment for approval this summer.
    A Request for Proposals for the highway extension will be issued later
this year. The proposed highway extension would generate 24,000 construction
jobs. Construction of the roadway will begin once the environmental approvals
are in place, with service beginning by 2013.

    QUOTES

    "Motorists who use the 407 eastern extension will pay for the highway,
freeing up provincial investment dollars for other priorities such as public
transit," said Transportation Minister Jim Bradley
(http://www.mto.gov.on.ca/english/about/minister.shtml). "Our approach to
extend the 407 eastward will allow us to maintain public ownership of this
stretch of highway and regulate the tolls."QUICK FACTS

    -   Planning studies in the 1950s and 1960s first identified the need for
        an east-west transportation corridor running north of Toronto to
        connect 401 in Milton with Highway 35/115 in Clarington.
    -   The highway that is now 407ETR (http://www.407etr.com/) was built in
        the 1990s as the central section of that corridor and was sold to the
        private sector in 1999.
    -   The proposed highway right-of-way would contain space for a future
        transitway.LEARN MORE

    Find out more about the upcoming public information centres
(http://www.407eastea.com/).

    Find out more about the proposed extension of Highway 407
(http://www.407eastea.com/) and the environmental assessment that is now
underway.-------------------------------------------------------------------------
                                              ontario.ca/transportation-news
                                                      Disponible en français



    BACKGROUNDER
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                 LESSONS LEARNED KEY TO 407 EASTERN EXTENSIONIn 1998 Ontario announced an international tender for the operation of
the initial 68 kilometres and the construction of the remaining 40 kilometres
on what is now known as 407ETR. The highway was subsequently sold to the
private sector in 1999.
    Drivers are choosing to use 407ETR on a daily basis - more than 900,000
transponders are currently in circulation. In 2007 407ETR reported an average
of 374,348 daily trips on the now 110 kilometres of tolled highway with 41
interchanges.LESSONS LEARNED

    The McGuinty Government has learned important lessons over more than a
decade of tolled highway driving in Ontario.

    -   The province needs to retain public ownership of the highway
    -   The length of any operating contract must be significantly less than
        99 years
    -   Toll rates must be regulated by the province
    -   Customer service expectations must be set out from the start

    The new business model for the extension of Highway 407 is based on these
lessons learned.

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    THEN                                 NOW
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Taxpayers paid initial               Private sector to pay construction
    construction costs                   costs
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    Ontario sold highway asset to        Ontario will retain ownership of
    private sector                       highway
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Ontario lost ability to regulate     Ontario will set and regulate tolls
    tolls
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------
    Ontario cannot set customer service  Ontario will set customer service
    objectives                           objectives, including complaint
                                         resolution
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------


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    Bob Nichols, Communications               ontario.ca/transportation-news
     Branch, (416) 327-1158                           Disponible en français
For further information: Nicole Lippa-Gasparro, Minister's Office, (416)
327-1815; Bob Nichols, Communications Branch, (416) 327-1158