No privatization for Ontario toll road extension

| 1/28/2009

A 20-mile extension of Ontario Highway 407 will be tolled but remain under the control of the provincial government, officials announced.

While tolls on the current span of the 407 Express Toll Route go to private companies, tolls from the soon-to-be-built extension from Pickering to Clarington will pay for the road’s construction and free up the budget, Ontario Transportation Minister James Bradley stated Tuesday, Jan. 27.

“Motorists who use the 407 eastern extension will pay for the highway, freeing up provincial investment dollars for other priorities such as public transit,” Bradley stated.

“Our approach to extend the 407 eastward will allow us to maintain public ownership of this stretch of highway and regulate the tolls.”

The right of way to build the new extension will contain space for a future transit line, Bradley announced.

The 108-kilometer, or 67-mile, central core of the tolled 407 ETR in the Toronto region remains under the control of a consortium majority owned by Cintra of Spain. Minority partners include Macquarie of Australia and SNC Lavalin of Canada.

– By David Tanner, staff writer