Is this what Ontario voted for? Over the next four years, the Ford government is going to spend more than a billion dollars getting things ready to start building Highway 413. And once it gets started—if it does get started—it will likely take another ten years to build. You could get some long odds on it being Ford cutting the ribbon on that highway as premier.
Don’t be impatient. Even the 16.2 kilometres of the Bradford Bypass, that is already calling tenders for bridge construction, will be another four to five years. And don’t even try to compare it to the Eglinton Crosstown LRT, that has been causing business failures over its 19 kilometres of construction across the top of Toronto for the past 11 years.
But building one solution to people movement always seems to demand more. If what they are calling the Ontario Line subway is not built as a relief line for the Young Street subway in Toronto, the Eglinton Crosstown will not do its job. If the expanded bridges are not completed through Barrie on Highway 400 in time for the increased traffic from the Bradford Bypass, there will be angry communications with whomever rules Queen’s Park at the time.
And forget trying to get infrastructure planning and financing and building arms-distance from the politicians. He who pays the piper calls the tune every time. Look at Metrolinx, the subway builder, that is supposedly out of reach of the politicos in Toronto city hall and Queen’s Park. That organization has more good reasons for being late and over budget than any provincial ministry could ever dream of.
There are always the citizens committees, the neighbourhood nags and energetic environmentalists running interference on building any infrastructure but even they can be squelched by determined politicians. And you can bet that premier Ford is determined. When he tells his developer friends that he will build that highway for them, he is going to try to keep his word. Forget previous planning, environmental concerns, and a highway there not being needed. Ford will get it done.
Copyright 2022 © Peter Lowry
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