Home Truck News Ontario budget reinforces investment in highways, trucking labor: OTA - Truck News

Ontario budget reinforces investment in highways, trucking labor: OTA – Truck News

The Ontario Trucking Association (OTA) has given the Ontario government credit for its provincial budget, which it says committed to continued investing in the highway infrastructure development and trucking labor.

“We will be working with our partners to make sure critical programs like the Explore Trucking Careers Program continue to provide on-the-job training support in our sector,” OTA president Stephen Laskowski said in a release.

Trucking labor investments

The Ford government has allocated additional $100 million in the Skills Development Fund (SDF), to help job seekers, including those interested in entering the trucking industry, advance their careers.

The program funds the Explore Trucking Careers Program, launched last year by the OTA and Toronto Business Development Centre.

(Photo: iStock)

The government will also invest more than $62 million in two of the province’s foundational skilled trades programs. This includes $21 million to expand the Ontario Youth Apprenticeship Program and $42 million to launch 100 pre‑apprenticeship training projects around the province that will help young people acquire firsthand job experience.

Ontario will keep investing in its highways, too.

Northern Ontario highways

The 2024 budget highlights projects in Northern Ontario, like supporting the construction and repair of municipal roads and bridges that connect to provincial highways through communities, including the reconstruction of Highway 101 through Timmins.

The image is of Highway 11 and 17 signs on a road in a Northern Ontario
Photo: OTA

The government will also proceed with the design and environmental assessment work for a 2+1 highway pilot – a three‑lane highway with a center passing lane that changes direction approximately every two to five kilometers – for two locations on Highway 11 north of North Bay.

Funds will also support the widening of Highway 17 from Kenora to the Manitoba border, resurfacing Highway 144 from north of Highway 560 northerly to Highway 661 near Gogama and continuing to widen Highway 69 from two to four lanes, from Parry Sound to Sudbury.

Other projects include expanding Highway 11 and 17 between Coughlin Road and Highway 582 west of Red Rock and widening Highway 11 and 17 between Thunder Bay and Nipigon.

Southern Ontario investments

In Southern Ontario, the government promised it will widen Highway 401 in an eastern direction, from Brock Road in Pickering, and will replace bridges in Port Hope.

This builds on the previous work to improve the Highway 401 corridor, including the recent completion of additional lanes in Mississauga and Milton, OTA said in a release.

To support new border crossing infrastructure in Windsor, the government is building upon a new interchange connecting Highway 401 to Lauzon Parkway. Now, it will build a new interchange at Banwell Road and E.C. Row Expressway.

The budget also reinforced the government’s commitment to building Highway 413 and the Bradford Bypass, as well as plans to expand Highway 7 from two to four lanes from west of Reesor Road in Markham, east to Brock Road in Pickering.

Other highway and roadway projects

  • Designing a new interchange at Highway 416 and Barnsdale Road to support South Ottawa’s growing population.
  • Replacement of the Frederick Street Bridge in Kitchener, environmental fieldwork, and other engineering work to support construction on the remainder of the corridor.
  • The final phase of construction for the new Highway 7 between Kitchener and Guelph will provide relief to the busy Highway 401 and connect the fast‐growing urban centres of Kitchener, Waterloo and Guelph.
  • Moving forward with the Queen Elizabeth Way (QEW) Garden City Skyway Bridge Twinning project, which includes construction of a new twin bridge on the QEW over the Welland Canal;
  • Widening Highway 404 from Highway 407 to Major Mackenzie Drive, Markham, for high-occupancy vehicle (HOV) lanes;
  • Widening Highway 3 from two to four lanes between Essex and Leamington;
  • Replacing the Little Current Swing Bridge on Highway 6 in the Town of Northeastern Manitoulin and the Islands;
  • Rehabilitating Highway 403 between Highway 401 and West Quarter Townline Road in Brant and Oxford Counties;
  • Repairing bridges and culverts on Highway 28 in Renfrew County;
  • Constructing a new interchange on Highway 6 in Wellington County as part of advance work for the Morriston Bypass;
  • Rehabilitating the Bay of Quinte Skyway Bridge;
  • Replacing bridges on Highway 417 in Ottawa; and
  • Widening Highway 3 and Highway 4 to support growth and economic development in St. Thomas.

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