In a recent letter to the minister, OTA chair Wendell Erb highlighted the important link between new highway investments and economic growth and prosperity, pointing out how highways reduce transportation costs, congestion and provide easier access to markets/transportation hubs, which affect business location and enhancement decisions.
“We must build the GTA West, not just for our present economy but to the secure the future success of our province,” Erb wrote.
Mulroney wrote back, reiterating there is a strong case for moving forward with the GTA West corridor.
“By 2051, the population of the Greater Golden Horseshoe (GGH) is expected to grow to almost 15 million people, representing approximately seven million jobs. Without more transportation infrastructure, Ontario drivers can expect to experience even worse gridlock. The major highways in York and Peel Regions are all forecasted to be operating over capacity by 2031, even with significant investments in transit. MTO’s traffic modelling data shows that by the year 2041, the level of congestion in the GGH will be about double what it is today,” she said.
“The GTA West highway and transitway is vital transportation infrastructure that will address transportation needs in York, Peel, and Halton regions. Motorists and trucks that travel the entire GTA West highway in rush hours will save approximately 30 minutes (not 30 seconds) compared to travelling on Highway 401 and Highway 400.”
The planned highway, which would run through the logistics hub of Canada – the northwestern part of greater Toronto area in the regional municipalities of Halton, Peel and York – would allow better access to all of these areas by providing an east-west, freeway to freeway connection north of GTA, connecting with MTO’s highway network and provides much-needed congestion relief for the Hwy 400-401 interchange and for the multitude of municipal arterial routes currently over capacity. The GTA West will also significantly assist businesses that have already invested in Ontario and ship products to Northern Ontario and Western Canada.
Access to these markets will be greatly improved by the GTA West, which would in turn attract new businesses, factories and distribution centres to the GTA as it competes with other provinces and states are competing for the same jobs, says OTA.