QEW widening to add HOV lanes through Burlington
June 11, 2009
The Hamilton Spectator
BURLINGTON (Jun 11, 2009)
Commuters will be able to shave an anticipated 25-plus minutes off their daily trek once Burlington-to-Oakville QEW expansions are completed.
The provincial government is moving ahead on widening the highway, as well as creating high-occupancy vehicle (HOV) lanes.
Transportation Minister Jim Bradley confirmed several projects for the government's summer construction schedule yesterday.
It's estimated the work will create more than 16,000 direct and indirect jobs.
"It would be unacceptable in today's economy to slow down any investments that create stimulus," Bradley said after the event, according to a transcript provided to The Spectator.
The six-kilometre stretch of QEW from Guelph Line to Burloak Drive will be widened from six to eight lanes. That will include HOV lanes, which are reserved for vehicles with two or more occupants.
Work started on the project last month.
The initiative will cost $60 million, part of $2.4 billion in highway infrastructure cash the provincial Liberals are spending this year.
Further highway widening and HOV lanes are planned along the QEW into Oakville to Trafalgar Road. The entire Burlington-Oakville stretch should be completed by summer 2011, but the province is hoping to open the HOV lanes next fall.
Burlington Mayor Cam Jackson called the projects a "substantial commitment." He noted that the highway will never be more than eight lanes.
"And so, we're going to have to continue to look at opportunities like this (HOV lanes) to increase traffic flow and to encourage less single-driver usage."
BY THE NUMBERS
165,000: Number of vehicles using the QEW from Guelph Line to Burloak Drive daily
14 to 17: Minutes saved per trip by HOV users on highways 403 and 407
13: Minutes that will be saved during rush hour on each QEW trip by users of new lanes
1,000 to 1,200: Vehicles predicted per hour, per lane when new lanes open
Is it just me, or does widening
to add the HOV lanes somewhat defeat their purpose?