1. What is the study area?

The study area includes Highway 400 from 1 km South of Highway 89 to the junction at Highway 11 and a sufficient distance east and west of the Highway 400 corridor to support the development and assessment of mainline and interchange alternatives. The project limits are located in the Town of Innisfil, the City of Barrie and the Township of Springwater within Simcoe County (click here for a map of the study area).

2. What is the purpose of this study?

This study will revisit the recommend plan outlined in the 2004 Transportation Environment Study Report (TESR). Key areas of focus will be a re-examination of the previously proposed Highway 400 alignment shift north of Highway 89, 10-lane cross-section through the City of Barrie and proposed interchange improvements.

This study will also examine the nature of improvements required to address traffic operations, capacity and safety needs along a 30 km section of Highway 400 from 1 km south of Highway 89 to the junction at Highway 11. Alternatives will be re-evaluated based on technical and environmental factors and in consultation with the public, stakeholders, municipalities and government agencies. At the end of the study a Transportation Environmental Study Report (TESR) Addendum will be prepared and made available for a 30-day public and agency review period, in the event that any significant changes to the recommended plan and impacts outlined in the April 2004 TESR are identified. The TESR Addendum will document the recommended plan for this section of Highway 400 along with the process leading to the selection of the recommended plan.

3. What Highway Improvements were previously identified for this section of the Highway 400 corridor?

The 2004 Transportation Environmental Study Report (TESR) identified the following improvements that will be reviewed and confirmed / updated where appropriate as part of this study:

  • From the south project limits to Essa Road, Highway 400 will be widened to eight lanes with a provision to widen to ten lanes. Within this section of Highway 400, the centreline will be shifted to the west, preserving the existing east edge of pavement and property line. The ultimate ten-lane cross section includes provision for one high occupancy vehicle (HOV) lane in each direction from the south project limits to Molson Park Drive.
  • From Essa Road to the north project limits, Highway 400 will be widened to the east and west of the existing centreline with the section from Essa Road to Bayfield Street being widened to ten lanes and the section from Bayfield Street to the north limit being widened to eight lanes.
  • Improvements to interchanges within the study limits including local geometric improvements to existing individual ramps and/or reconfiguration of an entire interchange:
    • Reconfigure to a standard Parclo A interchange at Highway 89;
    • Reconfigure to a standard Parclo A interchange at Innisfil Beach Road;
    • Operational improvements to existing Diamond interchange at Molson Park Drive;
    • Geometric improvements to existing partial Parclo A interchange at Essa Road;
    • Geometric improvements to existing partial Parclo B interchange at Dunlop Street;
    • Geometric improvements to existing Parclo A (southbound) / Diamond (northbound) interchange at Bayfield Street; and
    • Geometric improvements to existing Partial Parclo A interchange at Duckworth Street.

All of the above interchanges will be constructed to allow for potential 10 lane widening.

The 2004 TESR also outlined the following improvements in addition to the mainline and interchange modifications:

  • Provide concrete median barrier throughout the study area;
  • Construct new noise barriers at warranted locations;
  • Install "high-mast" illumination north of Molson Park Drive to Duckworth Street and improve illumination at all interchanges;
  • Replace the median sewer and improve the culverts and drainage as necessary;
  • New pavement on the existing section of Highway 400; and
  • New commuter parking lot at the Highway 89 interchange (northeast quadrant).

4. When will the preferred preliminary design alternative(s) be constructed?

Should the recommendations of this study receive environmental clearance, detail design would be initiated to develop engineering and construction details. The timing for undertaking detail design and construction has yet to be determined. Construction cannot occur until the engineering details have been finalized and environmental approvals have been obtained through the detail design study.

5. What is the construction cost?

Preliminary construction costs will be developed as part of this study to support the re-evaluation and selection of the preferred preliminary design alternative(s).

6. Will municipal staff be involved in the project?

The Project Team will be consulting with staff from the Town of Innisfil, the City of Barrie, and the Township of Springwater throughout the study, particularly before key milestones in the project such as the generation, assessment, and re-evaluation of alternatives.

7. How does the environmental assessment process work?

This study will follow the approved planning process for a Group ‘B’ project under the Class Environmental Assessment for Provincial Transportation Facilities (2000) , an approved process under the Ontario Environmental Assessment Act .

The opportunity for public input will be provided throughout this study. A Notice of Study Commencement was published the Barrie Advance, the Barrie Examiner, Innisfil Scope, and the Alliston Herald in April 2014.

Two Public Information Centres (PICs) have been held for this study. Notices of the Public Information Centre will be published in local newspapers, sent to those on the Project Team’s contact list, and posted on this website. PIC #1 was held on November 25, 2014, and PIC #2 was held on April 25, 2017, refer to the Consultation page for further details including the information that was presented at the PICs.

At the end of the study a Transportation Environmental Study Report (TESR) Addendum will be prepared to address any significant changes to the recommended plan and potential environmental impacts identified in the April 2004 TESR (G.W.P 30-95-00). The TESR Addendum would be made available for a 30-day public and agency review and would document:

  • Identified transportation problems and opportunities;
  • The generation, assessment and evaluation of alternatives considered;
  • Changes to the recommended plan outlined in the 2004 TESR;
  • A summary of potential environmental issues and mitigation measures; and
  • A summary of consultation undertaken throughout the study.

A notice announcing the placement of the Transportation Environmental Study Report Addendum on the public record for public review will also be published in local newspapers and a notice will be distributed to those who requested to be placed on the project contact list.