More lanes coming to part of major highway in Pickering

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Published April 11, 2024 at 11:43 am

highway expansion highway 7 pickering markham ontario
A 10 km stretch of Highway 7 will be expanded between Pickering and Markham - Photo by Ken Lund, Flickr

Commuters who regularly travel between Pickering and Markham will soon see more lanes on Highway 7.

Today (April 11), Transport Minister Prabmeet Sarkaria announced that the province plans to invest $12 million in the Hwy 7 expansion project. Appearing with Pickering Mayor Kevin Ashe, Markham Mayor Frank Scarpitti and Finance Minister Peter Bethlenfalvy at Dutchmaster Nurseries, Sarkaria said a 10 km stretch of the roadway will be widened from two lanes to four.

The expansion will run from Reesor Road in Markham to Brock Road in Pickering. 

At the press conference, Sarkaria told reporters that the expansion will help alleviate congestion, stating that gridlock costs the province $11 billion a year in lost productivity. He also said the expansion will spur more economic growth in the impacted corridor. 

According to a news release, the area is home to growing manufacturing, life sciences and agricultural sectors. 

Ashe told reporters that conversations about expanding Hwy 7 have been “going on for a couple of years.” 

“We’re on track to become one of Durham Region’s largest cities over the coming years, and we’re seeing strong growth in our innovation quarter,” he said, adding that well-known companies are creating thousands of new jobs.

He said his transportation consultant told him that part of Hwy 7 is the busiest two-way highway in all of Canada. 

The province says that approximately 8,500 vehicles travel Hwy 7 from Reesor Road to Brock Road every day.

“As Durham and York Region continue to grow, our government is standing up for drivers to keep them moving and out of gridlock,” Sarkaria said in a statement. 

“Widening Hwy 7 is a milestone investment from Ontario’s 2024 Budget and another step in our government’s plan to build a better Ontario.”

Sarkaria said the $12 million will be used to support the preliminary design and environmental assessment, as well as the actual construction. It also go towards improvements to local intersections and the expansion of the Little Rouge Creek bridge in Markham.

“The expansion of Highway 7 brings more than just widened roads; it paves the way for enhanced connectivity, economic growth, and smoother commutes for residents and businesses alike,” said Bethlenfalv, who is also the MPP for Pickering-Uxbridge, in a statement. 

“Pickering continues to see job growth, bigger paychecks, and a brighter future.”

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