Highway 69 joins with the northern end of Highway 400 at Parry Sound and extends northerly to Highway 17 in the City of Greater Sudbury. Highway 69 is a two-lane highway, and is prone to traffic congestion during the summer tourist season. Local residents and visitors rely on Highway 69 to commute to their homes and places of employment, cottages, provincial parks and other recreational facilities. In addition, goods movement activities rely on Highway 69 for local and long haul trips.
The four-laning of Highway 69 has been proceeding as part of a strategic network improvement plan connecting southern and northern Ontario (via both the Highway 69 and Highway 11 corridors), as outlined in the Ministry of Northern Development and Mines Northern Highway Program 2016-2020.
Since the mid-1960's, the Ministry of Transportation (MTO) has carried out several studies to assess traffic volumes, operations and safety along the Highway 69 corridor between Port Severn and Sudbury. Projected growth in the volume of traffic travelling through this area, combined with growth in the year-round population of the eastern Georgian Bay region and the growing popularity of this area as an all-season recreational/tourist destination, resulted in the decision to proceed with upgrading Highway 69 from 2 lanes to 4 lanes as a divided, controlled access highway.