Prime Minister Doug Ford has begun seeking bids to build sections of Bradford’s controversial ring road.
Ford’s progressive conservative government announced on Friday that it had issued a request for proposals to design and build a bridge for the proposed new four-lane highway that would connect highways 400 and 404.
Transportation Minister Caroline Mulroney said that “this new corridor is absolutely necessary if we are to alleviate the stagnation on Highway 400 and existing local highways from east to west” due to population growth in the York region and the neighboring Simcoe County.
“Gridlock hurts everyone. It prevents people from coming home at a reasonable time and our farmers bringing produce to market, “Mulroney said, adding that the project is” unlocking opportunities for housing and job creation. “
The 16.2 km highway would cross 27 waterways, traversing environmentally sensitive Holland Marsh lands and impacting approximately 11 acres of wetlands and 39 hectares of wildlife habitat.
While conservatives have declined to say how much the taxpayer-funded highway would cost, a forensic accountant’s estimate for the Star suggests it would be $ 2.2 billion.
Mulroney said bidders are being invited to submit proposals for a bridge on Yonge Street, known there as Simcoe County Road 4, between lines 8 and 9.
The new bridge project would include widening Yonge Street from two to four lanes in that section.
With an election scheduled for June 2, Conservatives are campaigning on the promise of opening the Bradford Bypass in 2024.
An environmental assessment is expected to be completed by December next year.
But a recent Torstar / National Observer investigation raised questions about ownership of the land adjacent to the proposed bypass.
This is because the Associate Minister of Transportation’s father, Stan Cho, is a co-owner of East Gwillimbury’s Silver Lakes Golf and Country Club.
Under a recently proposed rerouting, it would be saved from development.
Cho has declared a conflict of interest, so no information about the bypass project is shared or discussed with him.
JOIN THE CONVERSATION