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Highway 401 to be widened to 10 lanes through Cambridge
KITCHENER -- The federal and provincial governments announced Wednesday that plans are in the works to widen the 401 from six lanes to 10 through Cambridge.
Construction will take place on a 3.7 km stretch of the highway between Hespeler Road and Townline Road.
The expansion is aimed at relieving congestion along the country's busiest highway, specifically through the Waterloo Region-Toronto corridor.
“These investments will allow people to spend more time at their destination and less time getting there,” says Caroline Mulroney, the Minister of Transportation.
Some drivers share that hope.
“I think it would be great for traffic congestion,” says one. “It’s really difficult to get in and out of Toronto on a good day, let alone on heavy traffic days.”
Others, however, are concerned what the construction will do for their commute.
“As a truck driver it’s only going to create more congestion on each end,” says another driver. “You know it’ll open it up for a while, but when it squeezes back down again, that’s where we’ll run into the problem.”
The government says the expansion will also have a positive impact on the economy.
"Highway 401 is a lifeline for travel and the movement of goods throughout our province and that's why we are making historic investments to expand and modernize it," says Mulroney. "Together with our federal partners, we are investing in these critical infrastructure projects to drive economic growth and create jobs during these extremely difficult times."
Once completed, the highway will also have High Occupancy Vehicle lanes.
The announcement comes less than a year after work was completed on another Highway 401 expansion between Highway 8 and Hespeler Road.
The province says this is the final phase of its widening project through Cambridge.
“There’s always that short-term pain,” says Cambridge MPP Bryan May. “But the reality is we need the capacity.”
It's not clear how much the project is expected to cost, but the provincial government says the federal government has committed to funding up to half of eligible costs, to a maximum of $96 million.
Construction is set to start later this year and the goal is to have all work completed by 2023.