Halton–Peel Freeway

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The Halton–Peel Freeway (or "Halton Hills Expressway") is a proposed controlled-access highway in the Greater Toronto Area.[1][2] Since the 1980s, several freeways have been built or proposed in communities immediately outside the city of Toronto in an effort to reduce traffic congestion, much as expressways were built or proposed within the city itself between the 1940s and 1970s.

Current proposals for the route place its starting point at the interchange of Highway 401 and Highway 407 ETR at Steeles Avenue and Ninth Line at the Halton–Peel boundary. The freeway would travel east of Halton Hills and into Brampton, providing access to Highway 410. East of Brampton it would connect with Highway 400. The freeway would feature an interchange with Highway 427 upon completion of the northward extension of that route.

Like Highway 407 eleven kilometres south and Highway 9 eighteen kilometres north, the Halton–Peel Freeway would be built through/near a green belt, providing scenic views, but also creating the possibility of strong environmental opposition.

A preliminary study area map released in March 2011 proposed a bypass that would run around the southeastern edges of the Halton Hills, lying approximately five to eight kilometres north of Highway 401, running primarily parallel before terminating in Milton. A revised preliminary study area in June 2012 since eliminated this proposal, instead proposing a widening of Highway 401 west of Highway 407 through Milton.[3][4]

Currently, traffic levels in the area fall below the level at which any sort of development would begin to take shape. As of 2012, the need for the route is based on expected growth within the coming decades. The Halton–Peel Freeway and the northern extension of Highway 427 is part of a greater Master Plan to build a Halton-Brampton-Vaughan transportation corridor, known as the GTA West Corridor. If built, the Halton–Peel Freeway would provide a bypass to Highway 401 beyond the Highway 407 toll route, something of potential value, allowing traffic from Southwestern Ontario bound for Ontario's cottage country or Northern Ontario to bypass Toronto. A similar bypass is also being proposed approximately thirty kilometres northeast, known as the Bradford Bypass. If built, the ability to reroute traffic from southwestern Ontario around Highways 407 and Highway 401 by providing a practical and relevant bypass would be extended to the eastern shores or Lake Simcoe.


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