Project Limits / Purpose / Design Details
1. What is the Study Area?
The project limits are located within the City of Hamilton and the City of Burlington (Halton Region) along Highway 403 from Grindstone Creek westerly to Old Guelph Road and Highway 6 between Highway 403 and the Bruce Trail.
2. What is the purpose of this study?
The Preliminary Design and Class Environmental Assessment study at Highway 403 and Highway 6 Interchange will examine short-term and long-term improvements to ensure the next round of infrastructure rehabilitation / renewal can accommodate future traffic needs of Highway 403 within the Study limits. Reasonable design alternatives for structural and operational improvements will be developed and evaluated leading to the selection of a preferred alternative(s).
The key objectives of the study include:
- Explore long-term improvements along the Highway 403 and Highway 6 Interchange with potential improvements including additional lanes.
- Develop a long-range plan for Highway 403 and Highway 6 Interchange so that an ultimate interchange design can be established, and land protected.
- Evaluate the widening and/or replacement needs of all structures within the study area based on the preferred highway and interchange alternatives (14 bridges, 3 structural culverts, 15 retaining walls).
- Develop a preferred staging and contract sequencing strategy.
- Obtain EA approval.
3. Are HOV lanes being considered as part of the study?
No, high-occupancy vehicle (HOV) lanes are not being considered as part of this study as an alternative. Recent adjacent studies which included part of the Highway 403 for future planning did not include recommendations for HOV lanes because HOV lanes starting at the QEW interchange will create weaving traffic between QEW and Highway 6.
4. How does the environmental assessment process work?
This study will follow the approved planning process for a Group ‘B’ project under the Class Environmental Assessment for Provincial Transportation Facilities (2000), an approved process under the Ontario Environmental Assessment Act.
Alternatives have been generated and evaluated based on technical and environmental factors and in consultation with Indigenous communities, public stakeholders, municipalities and government agencies. This is the second and final Public Information Centre (PIC) to be held during this study. At the end of the study, a Transportation Environmental Study Report (TESR) will be prepared and made available for a 30-day comment period.
5. Have the Municipalities been involved in the Project?
The Project Team have consulted with staff from the the City of Hamilton, City of Burlington, and the Halton Region throughout the Study, particularly before key milestones in the Project.
6. Will external agencies be contacted during the Preliminary Design Study?
Yes, the Study Team has engaged various external agencies such as Ministry of Environment, Conservation and Parks (MECP), Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry (MNRF), Ministry of Heritage, Sport, Tourism and Culture Industries (MHSTCI), Niagara Escarpment Commission, Conservation Halton, Canadian Pacific (CP) Rail, and Canadian National (CN) Rail.
7. What is the purpose of Public Information Centre (PIC) #2?
The purpose of PIC #2 is to present and receive feedback on the following aspects of the Project: The Evaluation of Alternatives, Details of the Recommended Plan, Mitigation and Environmental Protection Strategies and Next Steps/How to stay informed.
8. Can I view the PIC materials after the event on March 10th, 2022?
PIC materials will be posted to the project website (https://hwy403hwy6preliminarydesignea.ca/public-information-centre-2/www.Hwy403Hwy6PreliminaryDesignEA.ca) and PIC #2 Comment Forms may be submitted over a 40-day period (from February 24th to April 4th, 2022)
9. Are field investigations being carried out?
Field investigations such as geotechnical, natural sciences (fisheries and terrestrial), archaeology, build heritage, drainage etc. have been completed to collect background / existing conditions information.
10. What is the Study Timeline?
Note: Schedule subject to change.
11. Why not focus on expanding public transit?
Expanding public transit service would not completely remove the need to expand highway capacity or address the identified operational improvements to meet existing and future needs identified along the Highway 6 and Highway 403 corridors. The long-term plan for operations and capacity improvements identified as part of this study is needed to best inform the shorter-term rehabilitation strategy (also addressed as part of this study) for these important highway corridors.
12. How were Alternatives Assessed and Evaluated – How did the Project Team Identify the Preferred Alternatives?
The alternatives were assessed and evaluated based on impacts to, and opportunities provided to the natural, social-economic and cultural environments along with transportation and cost considerations. A Reasoned Argument (trade-off) method of evaluation was used to identify the relative advantages and disadvantages of each of the alternatives considered in order to select the preferred alternative in each location of the study area. The following criteria were used to assess the alternatives in order to identify their relative advantages and disadvantages.
13. Will there be impacts to the Natural Environment?
MTO has retained AECOM to undertake an assessment of the natural environment, which will look for impacts to air quality, fisheries, plants, animals, water and soil and plan mitigations where appropriate and necessary. The results of these assessments will be documented in the TESR.
14. What are the Next Steps in the Study?
After this PIC, the Project Team will:
- Respond to any comments received
- Meet with Regulatory Agencies regarding the details of the recommended plan, potential environmental impacts and mitigation measures.
- Finalize mitigation measures
- Prepare the TESR
- Make the TESR available for a 30-day public and agency review
15. How can I get involved in this study?
There are several ways to get involved with this study:
- Visit the project website at: www.Hwy403Hwy6PreliminaryDesignEA.ca for study updates and utilize the ‘Contact Us’ page to be added to the study mailing list.
- Email the Project Team at: ProjectTeam@Hwy403Hwy6PreliminaryDesignEA.ca
- Register to attend the Public Information Centre (PIC) and to be added to the study mailing list. A Comment Form will be available as part of the PICs which can be completed and provided to the Study Team during the event or submitted afterwards via mail/fax/email from February 24th to April 4th, 2022.
16. Who do I contact for more information about the Project?
For more information about the project, please contact the Study Team at: ProjectTeam@Hwy403Hwy6PreliminaryDesignEA.ca