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A balanced transportation system is crucial to the continued economic prosperity of our province. The Ontario government made a commitment to building a highway infrastructure system that will sustain and strengthen our growing economy.
The Ontario government has invested almost $190 million over the past seven years on roads and highways in the Kitchener-Waterloo and surrounding areas of Waterloo, Wellington and Brant counties.
Reconstruction of the Highway 8/Conestoga Parkway interchange was split into two phases.
The first phase of the Highway 8/Conestoga Parkway reconstruction, which provided increased capacity on the Parkway, involved two contracts. The first contract involved constructing the new concrete median barrier. The second contract involved widening the Conestoga Parkway, which started in spring 1999 with completion in the summer of 2000. It included:
To address safety and to improve the flow of traffic through the existing interchange, MTO will reconstruct the interchange under Phase 2.
The project is proceeding through the appropriate processes. Environmental clearance has been obtained. Design work for Phase 2, and approximately $3 million of extensive utility relocations to accommodate Phase 2, has been completed.
Due to the need to shift the retaining walls on the east side of Highway 8 and the associated staging required, the Franklin Street bridge will be closed to vehicular traffic for approximately one year. The contract will require the contractor to reopen the Franklin Street Bridge to pedestrians by January 2003.
The Ministry of Transportation has worked closely with the public, the City of Kitchener and the Regional Municipality of Waterloo throughout the planning and design of this project.
In order to accommodate widening of Highway 8 and the reconstruction of the interchange, it has been necessary to close seven municipal streets and one road allowance through the Ontario Municipal Board (OMB) road closing process. The road closing hearings concluded in fall 2000 and MTO received the OMB's decision to permit the closure in July 2001.