Five routes now considered for mid-peninsula highway

BURLINGTON POST

Five routes now considered for mid-peninsula highway
Proposal approaching next phase of study

Dennis Smith
Sep 30, 2002

Five local routes are in the race as the mid-peninsula highway study drives towards the next phase.
Four other connections for the proposed new highway from Niagara are being considered besides Burlington's Hwy. 407.

"This is very much a work in progress," said Fred Leech, a manager with the Ministry of Transportation's planning branch. "There are definitely quite a few more functional connections than there used to be. We'll be evaluating all the alternatives."

Alternative routes presented at Thursday's open house include linkups with Hwy. 403 in Hamilton, Hwy. 401 east or west of Milton and Hwy. 6 in the Flamborough area.

The additional routes will be examined further by Ministry of Transportation staff. They plan to finalize by early December which routes will be included in the next study phase.

"We'll present our findings and say what works and what won't work, "We'll be saying, 'Here's the study area we want to carry forward.' We'll be asking for public input and then we'll finalize it."

Ministry comments about the choices describe the Hwy. 407 connection as addressing transportation problems and opportunities. Other alternatives are seen by the ministry as only partially addressing concerns.

Here's what ministry officials listed as pros and cons of each of the five local routes for the proposed highway.

Connection with Hwy. 407 - This route would loop north of Waterdown and run down the Niagara Escarpment to join Hwy. 407 near Walker's Line.

Benefits include its high potential to connect to major urban areas and existing/planned transit systems. It's also a new alternate route to the QEW and Hwy. 403.

Challenges include requiring a new highway crossing of the escarpment, potential pressure on Burlington's urban boundary and impacts to Burlington and Flamborough rural areas.
Connection to Hwy. 401, west of Milton - After curving around Hamilton, this route would angle west to the connection point.

This option's benefit is that it serves as a new alternative route to the QEW and Hwy. 403.
But several challenges were listed including requiring a new escarpment crossing, adding a fourth parallel freeway through Halton and requiring a separate transit corridor if the area's major transit markets are to be served.

This route is also seen as putting potential pressure on the Milton and Oakville urban boundaries, and impacting the Flamborough, Burlington, Oakville and Milton rural areas.
Connection to Hwy. 401, east of Milton - After curving around Hamilton, this route would link with Hwy. 401 via a more direct route than the previous alternative.

This route is seen as having the same benefit and challenges as the option connecting to Hwy. 401 west of Milton.

Connection to Hwy. 403 in Hamilton - The benefits include avoiding impacts to Flamborough and Burlington rural areas and providing a new alternate route to the QEW (but not Hwy. 403).

Challenges include significant construction issues involving the Niagara Escarpment, Cootes Paradise and Freeman Interchange (the intersection of Hwys. 403, 407 and QEW). Physical constraints on Hwy. 403 may preclude both widening and a transit corridor.

Other challenges include requiring a significant expansion to the escarpment cut for Hwy. 403 and significant impacts on the Hamilton urban area and Cootes Paradise waterway.

Connection to Hwy. 6 in the Flamborough area - Benefits include providing a new alternate route to the QEW (but not Hwy. 403), potential connections to major urban areas and existing/ planned transit systems and avoiding impacts to Burlington's rural area.

Challenges include significant construction issues for the Freeman Interchange, significant expansion to the existing escarpment cut at Hwy. 6, significant residential and commercial impacts in the Hwy. 6 corridor and no direct routing through Burlington, meaning possible impacts on municipal roads.

Leech believes no other highway route options will be considered for the Hamilton/Halton area.
In Niagara, the choices are to connect the new highway to the QEW either north of Fort Erie or south of Niagara Falls.

Highway study phases are expected to take several years altogether and Leech has noted the project could be altered or even scrapped over that time.

 

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