MTO initiated the Preliminary Design Study in July 2009 to determine the need and timing for operational and safety improvements on Highway 401 from Hespeler Road to the Wellington County/Halton Region Boundary (GWP 8-00-00). The Preliminary Design Notice of Study Completion and the TESR are provided under the Reference Materials section.

Since the Notice of Study Commencement in 2014 (formerly GWP 3060-11-00), the project has been divided into two phases and is tentatively scheduled for consecutive construction, subject to completion of the detailed design, environmental assessment, funding, and approvals.

Issues/Commitments from Preliminary Design

The following specific issues/commitments identified during Preliminary Design that are relevant to the Highway 401 study area between Hespeler Road and Townline Road will be addressed during Detailed Design:

Pedestrian/Cyclist Access

The Ministry coordinated with the Region of Waterloo and City of Cambridge to consider active transportation. It was determined that accommodation of pedestrians/cyclists on the Hespeler Road Bridge will not be feasible during or following construction. Pedestrian/cyclist travel across Highway 401 on Franklin Boulevard will be provided in accordance with the active transportation goals of the Region of Waterloo, the City of Cambridge and MTO. The Project Team will continue to liaise with the Region and City regarding this issue.

Closure of the Franklin Boulevard Interchange during Construction

Vehicle and pedestrian access across Highway 401 will not be available during the replacement of the Franklin Boulevard Bridge. Detour route alternatives will be reviewed in consultation with the Region of Waterloo, City of Cambridge, Emergency Service providers (EMS, fire, police), local businesses, and property owners to identify a preferred route.

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