Five-km bypass to ease Hwy 6 congestion in Morriston

News Mar 29, 2016 by Joel OpHardt The Hamilton Spectator

PUSLINCH — Significantly improved traffic flow between Hamilton, Guelph and Waterloo Region is promised with a long-talked about major highway bypass finally getting the green light from the provincial government.

The project will see a realignment of Highway 6 south of the 401, bypassing the current roughly five-kilometre, two-lane bottleneck through Morriston village. The bypass has been discussed since 1978.

"A lot of people aren't aware of this bottleneck, and not aware of how much of a disgrace this corridor is in its current state," said Keanin Loomis, president and CEO of the Hamilton Chamber of Commerce, said Tuesday. "That poor little town has been besieged by traffic."

The HCC joined the Morriston Bypass Business and Economic Development Coalition about three years ago, said Loomis.

The bypass was announced by Transportation Minister Steven Del Duca, accompanied by Hamilton cabinet minister Ted McMeekin, before 100 people at the Puslinch Community Centre.

Loomis says the announcement comes as a boon to any local businesses — such as the Hamilton Port Authority, Hamilton airport and Maple Leaf Foods — that depend on flow of traffic between Guelph and Waterloo Region. The project also promises to ease the flow of agricultural products into the Hamilton area from regions as far as Goderich and Owen Sound, said Loomis.

"This rural section of the highway is one of the busiest two-lane highways in the province of Ontario," said Del Duca, adding that roughly 25,000 vehicles transit this section of Highway 6 every day. "A new highway is needed to improve safety and manage traffic volume."

The bypass will start near Freelton, where the four-lane Highway 6 turns into two lanes, said Puslinch Mayor Dennis Lever. It will continue west around Morriston until it reaches a roundabout northwest of the village.

Puslinch Mayor Dennis Lever addresses Highway 6 traffic patterns

The roundabout will offer exits to Brock Road bridge, which crosses the 401 toward Guelph, as well access to Highway 401. The 401 will eventually be widened to 10 lanes heading into Kitchener, Lever said.

The project is slated to begin in 2019, but the ministry refused to reveal when construction will wrap up or estimate its cost. The project will be part of the $160-billion, 12-year infrastructure investment plan from the Liberal government.

The province started freezing land to prevent development along a 12-kilometre, four-lane corridor in April 2010 between Flamborough and Highway 401. The project then was estimated to cost $300 million. The environmental assessment for the project was approved in 2009.

Lever said trucking companies were allowing for at least a half an hour to go through the bottlenecked section during rush hour, and often preferred other routes instead.

"It often seemed like forever — it really did," said McMeekin, thanking Del Duca for coming to see the bottleneck for himself, and ultimately approving the project.

Industry in Hamilton and the Waterdown area "count on the movement of goods and services and people for a living, and this is going to make that a lot easier," said McMeekin, Municipal Affairs Minister and MPP for Ancaster-Dundas-Flamborough-Westdale.

Mayor Lever discusses the bypass rout

Carolyn Vandenheuvel, who lives on Highway 6 in Morriston with her family, says this project has been a long time coming.

"When we first moved in, we were told it was going to be happening in five years," said Vandenheuvel. "That was about 15 years ago."

Vandenheuvel says it takes about 15 minutes to get out of her driveway, the noise is unbearable, accidents are frequent, and it's next to impossible to get people to stop for school buses.

While she was not particularly enthused with the 2019 start date, she's "grateful it's gotten this far."

"This is Hamilton's access to the 401, which in turn is Ontario's access to the world," said Wellington-Halton Hills Conservative MPP Ted Arnott, who has been a proponent of this project since he was first elected in 1990. "I wondered if the government might announce it in Hamilton for that reason."

While cost is a concern in this type of a project, Arnott says he understands the government's need to keep estimates private before the bidding process is complete.

MPP Ted Arnott on the Highway 6 bypass

Lever said a University of Waterloo study has conservatively estimated the improvements would yield more than $30 million in economic gain each year.

Loomis said that estimate was on the low end of the spectrum. He estimates the benefits to be as high as $50 million per year by that time.

"The provincial and federal governments are always looking for shovel-ready projects, and this is about as easy as they come."

Education Minister and Guelph MPP Liz Sandals said she was happy to finally have a direct connect between Highway 6 south and Highway 6 north. Besides the economic benefits of the Hamilton-Guelph corridor improvements, "there is also a lot of medical traffic for people that are ill and going down to Hamilton for treatment."

"This has a very real impact on the ordinary citizens of Guelph"

The project has many supporters, but it's not without a few detractors, who are affected by the location of the bypass.

"There was no consultation," said Mike Wayne.

He purchased an $800,000 home in the area in 2015 with no knowledge of the impending bypass. According to the maps released by the government, Wayne believes the highway could be within a hundred feet of his home.

"This is going to significantly decrease property value."

Arnott hopes to work with community members as the province continues its assessments before construction begins in 2019.

jophardt@thespec.com

905-526-3408

Five-km bypass to ease Hwy 6 congestion in Morriston

News Mar 29, 2016 by Joel OpHardt The Hamilton Spectator

PUSLINCH — Significantly improved traffic flow between Hamilton, Guelph and Waterloo Region is promised with a long-talked about major highway bypass finally getting the green light from the provincial government.

The project will see a realignment of Highway 6 south of the 401, bypassing the current roughly five-kilometre, two-lane bottleneck through Morriston village. The bypass has been discussed since 1978.

"A lot of people aren't aware of this bottleneck, and not aware of how much of a disgrace this corridor is in its current state," said Keanin Loomis, president and CEO of the Hamilton Chamber of Commerce, said Tuesday. "That poor little town has been besieged by traffic."

The HCC joined the Morriston Bypass Business and Economic Development Coalition about three years ago, said Loomis.

The bypass was announced by Transportation Minister Steven Del Duca, accompanied by Hamilton cabinet minister Ted McMeekin, before 100 people at the Puslinch Community Centre.

Loomis says the announcement comes as a boon to any local businesses — such as the Hamilton Port Authority, Hamilton airport and Maple Leaf Foods — that depend on flow of traffic between Guelph and Waterloo Region. The project also promises to ease the flow of agricultural products into the Hamilton area from regions as far as Goderich and Owen Sound, said Loomis.

"This rural section of the highway is one of the busiest two-lane highways in the province of Ontario," said Del Duca, adding that roughly 25,000 vehicles transit this section of Highway 6 every day. "A new highway is needed to improve safety and manage traffic volume."

The bypass will start near Freelton, where the four-lane Highway 6 turns into two lanes, said Puslinch Mayor Dennis Lever. It will continue west around Morriston until it reaches a roundabout northwest of the village.

Puslinch Mayor Dennis Lever addresses Highway 6 traffic patterns

The roundabout will offer exits to Brock Road bridge, which crosses the 401 toward Guelph, as well access to Highway 401. The 401 will eventually be widened to 10 lanes heading into Kitchener, Lever said.

The project is slated to begin in 2019, but the ministry refused to reveal when construction will wrap up or estimate its cost. The project will be part of the $160-billion, 12-year infrastructure investment plan from the Liberal government.

The province started freezing land to prevent development along a 12-kilometre, four-lane corridor in April 2010 between Flamborough and Highway 401. The project then was estimated to cost $300 million. The environmental assessment for the project was approved in 2009.

Lever said trucking companies were allowing for at least a half an hour to go through the bottlenecked section during rush hour, and often preferred other routes instead.

"It often seemed like forever — it really did," said McMeekin, thanking Del Duca for coming to see the bottleneck for himself, and ultimately approving the project.

Industry in Hamilton and the Waterdown area "count on the movement of goods and services and people for a living, and this is going to make that a lot easier," said McMeekin, Municipal Affairs Minister and MPP for Ancaster-Dundas-Flamborough-Westdale.

Mayor Lever discusses the bypass rout

Carolyn Vandenheuvel, who lives on Highway 6 in Morriston with her family, says this project has been a long time coming.

"When we first moved in, we were told it was going to be happening in five years," said Vandenheuvel. "That was about 15 years ago."

Vandenheuvel says it takes about 15 minutes to get out of her driveway, the noise is unbearable, accidents are frequent, and it's next to impossible to get people to stop for school buses.

While she was not particularly enthused with the 2019 start date, she's "grateful it's gotten this far."

"This is Hamilton's access to the 401, which in turn is Ontario's access to the world," said Wellington-Halton Hills Conservative MPP Ted Arnott, who has been a proponent of this project since he was first elected in 1990. "I wondered if the government might announce it in Hamilton for that reason."

While cost is a concern in this type of a project, Arnott says he understands the government's need to keep estimates private before the bidding process is complete.

MPP Ted Arnott on the Highway 6 bypass

Lever said a University of Waterloo study has conservatively estimated the improvements would yield more than $30 million in economic gain each year.

Loomis said that estimate was on the low end of the spectrum. He estimates the benefits to be as high as $50 million per year by that time.

"The provincial and federal governments are always looking for shovel-ready projects, and this is about as easy as they come."

Education Minister and Guelph MPP Liz Sandals said she was happy to finally have a direct connect between Highway 6 south and Highway 6 north. Besides the economic benefits of the Hamilton-Guelph corridor improvements, "there is also a lot of medical traffic for people that are ill and going down to Hamilton for treatment."

"This has a very real impact on the ordinary citizens of Guelph"

The project has many supporters, but it's not without a few detractors, who are affected by the location of the bypass.

"There was no consultation," said Mike Wayne.

He purchased an $800,000 home in the area in 2015 with no knowledge of the impending bypass. According to the maps released by the government, Wayne believes the highway could be within a hundred feet of his home.

"This is going to significantly decrease property value."

Arnott hopes to work with community members as the province continues its assessments before construction begins in 2019.

jophardt@thespec.com

905-526-3408

Five-km bypass to ease Hwy 6 congestion in Morriston

News Mar 29, 2016 by Joel OpHardt The Hamilton Spectator

PUSLINCH — Significantly improved traffic flow between Hamilton, Guelph and Waterloo Region is promised with a long-talked about major highway bypass finally getting the green light from the provincial government.

The project will see a realignment of Highway 6 south of the 401, bypassing the current roughly five-kilometre, two-lane bottleneck through Morriston village. The bypass has been discussed since 1978.

"A lot of people aren't aware of this bottleneck, and not aware of how much of a disgrace this corridor is in its current state," said Keanin Loomis, president and CEO of the Hamilton Chamber of Commerce, said Tuesday. "That poor little town has been besieged by traffic."

The HCC joined the Morriston Bypass Business and Economic Development Coalition about three years ago, said Loomis.

The bypass was announced by Transportation Minister Steven Del Duca, accompanied by Hamilton cabinet minister Ted McMeekin, before 100 people at the Puslinch Community Centre.

Loomis says the announcement comes as a boon to any local businesses — such as the Hamilton Port Authority, Hamilton airport and Maple Leaf Foods — that depend on flow of traffic between Guelph and Waterloo Region. The project also promises to ease the flow of agricultural products into the Hamilton area from regions as far as Goderich and Owen Sound, said Loomis.

"This rural section of the highway is one of the busiest two-lane highways in the province of Ontario," said Del Duca, adding that roughly 25,000 vehicles transit this section of Highway 6 every day. "A new highway is needed to improve safety and manage traffic volume."

The bypass will start near Freelton, where the four-lane Highway 6 turns into two lanes, said Puslinch Mayor Dennis Lever. It will continue west around Morriston until it reaches a roundabout northwest of the village.

Puslinch Mayor Dennis Lever addresses Highway 6 traffic patterns

The roundabout will offer exits to Brock Road bridge, which crosses the 401 toward Guelph, as well access to Highway 401. The 401 will eventually be widened to 10 lanes heading into Kitchener, Lever said.

The project is slated to begin in 2019, but the ministry refused to reveal when construction will wrap up or estimate its cost. The project will be part of the $160-billion, 12-year infrastructure investment plan from the Liberal government.

The province started freezing land to prevent development along a 12-kilometre, four-lane corridor in April 2010 between Flamborough and Highway 401. The project then was estimated to cost $300 million. The environmental assessment for the project was approved in 2009.

Lever said trucking companies were allowing for at least a half an hour to go through the bottlenecked section during rush hour, and often preferred other routes instead.

"It often seemed like forever — it really did," said McMeekin, thanking Del Duca for coming to see the bottleneck for himself, and ultimately approving the project.

Industry in Hamilton and the Waterdown area "count on the movement of goods and services and people for a living, and this is going to make that a lot easier," said McMeekin, Municipal Affairs Minister and MPP for Ancaster-Dundas-Flamborough-Westdale.

Mayor Lever discusses the bypass rout

Carolyn Vandenheuvel, who lives on Highway 6 in Morriston with her family, says this project has been a long time coming.

"When we first moved in, we were told it was going to be happening in five years," said Vandenheuvel. "That was about 15 years ago."

Vandenheuvel says it takes about 15 minutes to get out of her driveway, the noise is unbearable, accidents are frequent, and it's next to impossible to get people to stop for school buses.

While she was not particularly enthused with the 2019 start date, she's "grateful it's gotten this far."

"This is Hamilton's access to the 401, which in turn is Ontario's access to the world," said Wellington-Halton Hills Conservative MPP Ted Arnott, who has been a proponent of this project since he was first elected in 1990. "I wondered if the government might announce it in Hamilton for that reason."

While cost is a concern in this type of a project, Arnott says he understands the government's need to keep estimates private before the bidding process is complete.

MPP Ted Arnott on the Highway 6 bypass

Lever said a University of Waterloo study has conservatively estimated the improvements would yield more than $30 million in economic gain each year.

Loomis said that estimate was on the low end of the spectrum. He estimates the benefits to be as high as $50 million per year by that time.

"The provincial and federal governments are always looking for shovel-ready projects, and this is about as easy as they come."

Education Minister and Guelph MPP Liz Sandals said she was happy to finally have a direct connect between Highway 6 south and Highway 6 north. Besides the economic benefits of the Hamilton-Guelph corridor improvements, "there is also a lot of medical traffic for people that are ill and going down to Hamilton for treatment."

"This has a very real impact on the ordinary citizens of Guelph"

The project has many supporters, but it's not without a few detractors, who are affected by the location of the bypass.

"There was no consultation," said Mike Wayne.

He purchased an $800,000 home in the area in 2015 with no knowledge of the impending bypass. According to the maps released by the government, Wayne believes the highway could be within a hundred feet of his home.

"This is going to significantly decrease property value."

Arnott hopes to work with community members as the province continues its assessments before construction begins in 2019.

jophardt@thespec.com

905-526-3408