Get Ready Ottawa And Nepean - HOV Lanes Coming To Highway 417

    McGuinty Government Is Building Better Highways For Ontarians

    OTTAWA, June 27 /CNW/ - The McGuinty government is widening Highway 417
to create a High Occupancy Vehicle (HOV) lane to ease congestion and get more
people carpooling, Transportation Minister Donna Cansfield announced today.
    "Our government supports growing communities such as Ottawa and Nepean,"
noted Cansfield. "Traffic along Highway 417 has increased over the past few
years - more than 92,000 drivers use this highway daily. This work will reduce
congestion, enhance safety, support the local economy and promote transit."
    Highway 417 will be widened from four to eight lanes from Highway 416 to
Eagleson Road to create a 4.4 kilometre eastbound HOV lane. The reserved bus
lane along the 417 will be kept to promote public transit and give commuters
more options.
    HOV lanes are for use by buses and vehicles carrying more than one
occupant. The lanes are intended to provide fast, reliable travel for
carpoolers - particularly during peak travel periods when other lanes can be
slow and congested.
    "This is great news for my constituents," added Ottawa West-Nepean MPP
Jim Watson. "The great thing about HOV lanes is that they keep traffic moving
and certainly put carpoolers ahead of the rest of traffic."

    Other improvements include:

    -   Repaving Highway 416 from Hunt Club Road to Highway 417 for a
        smoother driving surface
    -   Repairing and widening the bridge at Moodie Drive to keep it in top
    -   Installing new lighting to improve nighttime visibility
    -   Repairing the Ottawa Central Railway bridges along the route to
        improve safety.

    "On Highways 403 and 404 our HOV lanes work," said Cansfield. "HOV
commuters are saving 14 to 17 minutes per trip compared to their travel time
before HOV lanes opened."
    The $56-million contract was awarded to the Karson Group of Carp,
Ontario. The work is planned to be complete by summer 2009. During
construction, Highway 417 may be reduced to one lane of traffic in each
direction. To minimize disruption to drivers the existing two lanes will
remain open during peak periods.
    Since 2003, the McGuinty government has committed $6.3 billion in
highways, roads and bridges and invested $4.9 billion in public transit. On
June 15, 2007, the McGuinty government announced MoveOntario 2020, a
$17.5-billion rapid transit plan for the Greater Toronto Area and Hamilton.
Improving our highways, roads and public transit will help keep Ontario's
economy strong.
    For up-to-date road condition information on major highways in the area,
visit or call the ministry's road information line
at (416) 235-4686, or toll-free at 1-800-268-4686.

    Disponible en français


For further information:

For further information: Media Contacts: Jamie Rilett, Minister's
Office, (416) 327-9134; Bob Nichols, Communications Branch, (416) 327-1158;
Public Inquiries: (416) 235-4686 (GTA), 1-800-268-4686 toll free,
1-866-471-8929 TTY

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