The following are some frequently asked questions (FAQs) about the Highway 69 Four-Laning Detail Design.
If you have additional questions, please visit the Contact Us section of this website.
- Why are four lanes required along this section of Highway 69?
Four-laning of Highway 69 will provide benefits to local residents and business owners, other Ontario motorists and visitors to the area. Specifically, it will:
- Reduce congestion and making passing easier, providing controlled access to the roadway, and separating northbound and southbound traffic with a median
- Improve travel times between northern and southern Ontario urban centres
- Improve access to areas already developed, allowing for continued development and growth of the local tourist and recreational sector
- Reduce the likelihood and duration of road closures due to roadway maintenance and accident investigations
- What is the purpose of this Detail Design project?
- How will Detail Design improvements be assessed?
- What Detail Design elements are being examined?
- Interchange ramps
- Bridge structures
- Access roads
- Service roads
- Highway profile
- Snowmobile crossings
- Temporary connections from existing Highway 69 (to be renamed Highway 522) to the new four-lane Highway 69
- How will this project build on commitments identified in the Route Planning Study?
- How will area cottagers and other seasonal residents be notified and given opportunities to participate?
- How will this Detail Design assignment be documented?
- What is the expected timing of construction?
- Will First Nation Communities be impacted by the new Highway 69?
- Will communities along the highway be impacted?
- What happens to homes located along the recommended alignment?
- How much does four-laning cost?
- How will access between communities and area destinations be accommodated?
- Will the snowmobile trail system be maintained during and following construction?
- How do you minimize impacts to local residents during construction?
- How do you minimize impacts to the travelling public during construction?
- Where will interchanges be located?
- Bekanon Road
- Highway 522
The purpose of this project is to select a Design-Builder to finalize design including environmental mitigation, obtain required approvals and construct a high quality product that considers increasing the long term performance by using quality and innovative design methods as well as quality materials and innovative construction methods.
Improvements are assessed in co-ordination with project staff, relevant external agencies/interest groups and the general public. Federal agencies include: the Canadian Environmental Assessment Agency, the Department of Fisheries and Oceans, Transport Canada (TC), Environment Canada (EC), and the Indigenous and Northern Affairs Canada (INAC). Provincial agencies include: the Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry (MNRF), Ministry of the Environment and Climate Change(MOECC), Ontario Ministry of Tourism, Culture and Sport (MTCS), Ontario Parks and Ontario Provincial Police. Local municipalities, local Road Boards, Sustainable Forest License holders, Snowmobile Clubs, Interest Groups and the general public will also be engaged throughout the assessment process.
The design will explore the following elements along this section of Highway 69:
Although preferred concepts were identified for each of the design elements noted above during Preliminary Design, additional improvement alternatives may be evaluated.
A number of issues were identified in the Route Planning and Environmental Assessment Report (2008) that will require further consultation with external agencies.
For example, the proposed realignment of the CN Rail tracks south of the proposed Highway 522 interchange will require discussion with CN Rail, and potential snowmobile crossings and trail linkages will require discussion with local snowmobile clubs.
The MNR will be consulted regularly on issues (e.g. Species at Risk) and potential mitigation measures. These discussions will ensure all necessary environmental avoidance, protection/mitigation measures are incorporated into the contract packages.
Cottagers and seasonal residents who participated in the Route Planning Study will continue to be notified of study milestones and public meetings through direct mailings, as well as through advertisements in local newspapers, and the project website. Opportunities to participate will be provided through Public Information Centres held within the Study Area. There is also opportunity throughout the study for public input by contacting the project team directly.
Checking in periodically with this website will allow interested individuals to track the progress of the study. In addition, everyone on the study's mailing list will receive notification by mail regarding study milestones and public meetings. You can request to be added to the mailing list on the Contact Us page.
A Design and Construction Report (DCR) will be prepared for each Contract to document how the commitments made in the Route Planning and Environmental Assessment Report were addressed.
Construction timing will be determined once all permits and approvals are in place, property is acquired and utilities are relocated.
The Northern Highways Program 2016-2020 outlines a long-term strategy for the completion of Northern Ontario highway projects, which can be found on the Reports page.
New alignment sections were selected during Route Planning in consultation with First Nation communities.
The Project Team will continue to consult with the First Nation communities to ensure that impacts are minimized and issues regarding property, access, traditional activities, land rights, and the environment are considered.
To avoid impacts on existing concentrations of development along the Highway 69 corridor, the Route Planning Study proposed bypass sections of the four-lane Highway 69 on a new alignment. Highway travellers will be able to safely access community nodes from both directions at interchanges.
Although the recommended alignment was selected to minimize any impact to local residents, some properties and houses are required to allow four-laning to proceed. Those directly affected by the four-laning will be contacted by staff from the Ministry's Property Section.
On average, it costs $10 million per kilometer, and another $8 to $12 million per interchange to four-lane Highway 69. The proposed four-laning of Highway 69 represents a significant investment in northern infrastructure and economic development.
The need to maintain access between communities and area destinations was an important consideration in developing the recommended alignment. Access will be provided through a combination of interchanges, service roads and the existing road network.
The Project Team will carry forward commitments to maintain the continuity of the snowmobile trail system identified in the Route Planning Report, and consult with local snowmobile clubs throughout Detail Design. Construction staging will consider trail use/ need for temporary measures (trail crossings, signing, fencing etc.).
Contractors hired by the MTO to build new highways are required to protect affected residents during the construction period by maintaining access and dealing with noise and dust issues. The Contractor utilizes such measures as: acceptable daily hours of operation and treating gravel road surfaces to prevent excessive dust.
Ideally, construction of the new four-lane highway will occur away from the existing traffic flow. In situations where construction must occur on the existing highway, restrictions on the number and duration of operations are defined in the Contract.
As documented in the Route Planning Study, interchanges are recommended at the strategic locations of:
Please note that plans for interchanges will be refined as part of the Detail Design phase. You should check this page frequently to ensure that you are viewing the most up-to-date information.