Highway 407 to be completed by 2020...

The Ontario government will build the Hwy. 407 east extension to Harmony Rd. in Oshawa by 2015 and complete it to Hwy. 35/115 by 2020, Transportation Minister Kathleen Wynne is announcing.

The government has been under pressure from many Durham Region politicians and residents to complete the extension in one phase.

Instead, the government revealed last year that it planned to build the first phase from Brock Road in Pickering to Simcoe Street in northern Oshawa, drawing concerns from nearby residents of the Hamlet of Columbus that traffic would pour into their small community.

The new plan to be announced by Wynne calls for the extension to be built out to Harmony Road in Oshawa to avoid the traffic issues on Simcoe St.

The second phase of the highway construction will complete the extension by 2020.

An interim interchange at Taunton Rod for the East Durham Link is scheduled to be completed by 2017.

While Wynne has always said that her government intends to complete the project, she has never before released the date by which she plans to do it.

The issue has become a political hot button all along the proposed route as Durham residents look for an alternative to the frequently clogged Hwy. 401 east.

Unlike the first section of Hwy 407, the new section will remain in public hands although it will be tolled.

PC Leader Tim Hudak has promised to build both the Hwy. 407 extension and the Niagara Region highway, known as the Mid-Peninsula Highway, as priority projects should he gain government in October.

Wynne will make her announcement Thursday at 2 p.m. near the spot where the Hwy 407 extension will eventually end at Hwy 35/115, and will be joined by Liberal MPP Rick Johnson, who represents Haliburton-Kawartha Lakes-Brock, and Liberal MPP Jeff Leal, who represents Peterborough.

As reported by The Toronto Sun, March 10, 2011

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