The province is moving forward with a 2+1 highway pilot on Highway 11 north of North Bay.
Officials say the three-lane highway includes a centre passing lane that changes direction every two to five kilometres, separated by a barrier.
A request for proposals (RFP) has been issued with qualified highway design consultants able to submit their proposals through the Ministry of Transportation’s e-tendering portal until December.
“This first-of-its-kind highway pilot in North America will keep people and goods moving safely across Northern Ontario,” says Caroline Mulroney, Minister of Transportation. “This is a key next step to get shovels in the ground on critical infrastructure projects that will support a strong transportation network and create jobs.”
The successful bidder is expected to be announced next year.
The province says while two potential locations for the 2+1 highway pilot have been identified, and both will be assessed, the design and environmental assessment for Highway 11 from Sand Dam Road to Ellesmere Road (14 kilometres) will be prioritized.
“The 2+1 highway project is an important part of our government’s plan to build Ontario,” says Vic Fedeli, Nipissing MPP and Minister of Economic Development, Job Creation and Trade. “This pilot project will help address the unique transportation needs of people and businesses in Northern Ontario that rely on our roads and highways to get where they need to go.”
The province says the highway model is used in other jurisdictions around the world and is more cost-efficient than twinning a highway.