The project extends from Highway 400 between Line 8 and Line 9 in Simcoe County, travelling easterly to Highway 404 between Holborn Road and Queensville Sideroad in the Regional Municipality of York. The Study Area for this Preliminary Design is consistent with the Study Area as defined in Exhibit 3-16 (page138) of the Environmental Assessment (EA) Report, One – Stage Submission: Highway 400 – Highway 404 Extension Link (Bradford By-Pass) W.P. 377-90-00, December 1997 (approved in August, 2002). The Exhibit is available on the Overview Page, under background information (1992-1997 Route Planning and Environmental Assessment Study). Additionally, the Study Area includes those sections of Highway 400 and Highway 404 within the vicinity of the proposed Bradford Bypass.
The planning process for the 1997 EA study narrowed down alternatives from a broad range of potential solutions to the concept ultimately selected as the Technically Preferred Route to a Planning level of detail. The study required gathering relevant information with respect to the existing and future conditions in the analysis area so that the impacts (both positive and negative) of each alternative could be compared under different environmental factors. To allow a satisfactory and comprehensive comparison to be made, information was gathered and grouped under five broad factors: Transportation, Natural Environment, Social Environment, Economic Environment, and Cultural Environment.
The evaluation to determine the Technically Preferred Route was carried out based on analytic data and consideration of input provided by the public, interest groups, and relevant government agencies. The evaluation process was divided into four stages:
Evaluation of 10 alternative sets comprised of 43 route segments
Evaluation of route segments carried forward
Stage 3: Further evaluation of the east section alternatives including future Highway 404 options to determine the Technically Preferred Route
Stage 4: Evaluation of alignment refinements to the Technically Preferred Route
The Technically Preferred Route, now the Bradford Bypass corridor under the current Preliminary Design study, was selected through the Route Planning study as the 2002 EA approved preferred alignment for a freeway in terms of highway network expansion, ease of construction, relationship to municipal land use planning, as well as having fewer negative impacts to residential and natural areas when compared to other options considered.
This Preliminary Design and Class Environmental Assessment of the Bradford Bypass is for the 2002 EA approved route. Refinements to the design within the Study Area may be made during the course of the study.
Significant population growth is projected for both Simcoe County (increase to 416,000 residents by 2031) and the Regional Municipality of York (increase to 1.79 million residents by 2041). The Bradford Bypass has been proposed as a response to this dramatic growth in population and travel demand in the area and the forecasted increase in congestion on key east-west roadways linking Highway 400 to Highway 404. Places to Grow: Growth Plan for the Greater Golden Horseshoe (2019) enacted by the Government of Ontario identifies and supports planned transportation corridors which are required to meet projected travel demand needs, including the proposed Bradford Bypass.
This Preliminary Design and Class EA will adhere to all relevant new and existing provincial and federal legislation, including, but not limited to, Endangered Species Act, Greenbelt Plan, Heritage Act, Fisheries Act, Species at Risk Act, etc.
Three (3) Public Consultation Sessions (PCSs) were held at the following key project milestones during the 1997 EA study to provide members of the community an opportunity to comment on the study findings made by the Project Team:
- Preparation of the draft Environmental Assessment Proposal (EAP) (early 1993)
- Identification of Route Alternatives (mid-1994)
- Analysis, Evaluation and Selection of the Technically Preferred Route (late 1996)
Public consultation and engagement will continue through Preliminary Design.
Consultation is an on-going component of the study and as such, the Project Team welcomes input and questions from interested stakeholders. In addition, as part of this study, two (2) Public Information Centres (PICs) will be held to allow stakeholders and members of the public to comment on the design alternatives and speak with members of the Project Team.
The project is currently undergoing the Preliminary Design process to refine the design elements approved in 2002 by examining design alternatives within the Study Area, considering environmental constraints and engaging the public for input. The Preliminary Design is anticipated to be completed in early 2023, allowing MTO to further refine the project through Detail Design with the possibility of advancing some components of the project for early construction. Construction of the Bradford Bypass is subject to funding, completion of detail design, and having permits, licenses, approvals, and authorizations in place prior to construction.
Information about the study will be available on this project website (www.BradfordBypass.ca) and updated on a regular basis. This website will provide methods to contact the project team to provide comments/questions and request to be added to the project mailing list.
The design and future construction of the bridges over the Holland River and East Holland River may affect navigability within the rivers. At Study Commencement, stakeholders will be asked if they have information on current navigability (timing, types of vessels, etc.) and this information will be factored into the design and construction staging. Transport Canada will be consulted throughout the study to maintain required navigability throughout construction and operation.