The New Highway 7Construction in Waterloo Region
As 2016 has drawn to a close we look ahead to a construction project that will be coming our way not only next year but for many to come. For some time now we have heard talk of a new highway 7 between Kitchener and Guelph. Some say why, others ask when will it be built. Wherever you stand on the question of, “do we need it?“, it is coming! After digging and reading we realized there are questions left to be answered, but we did learn a lot.
When completed likely in the early 2020’s, there will be a new 18 kilometer, 5 interchange full access controlled highway. In Kitchener it will be joined to current highway 85 at a rebuilt Wellington Street interchange. In Guelph, the Hanlon Parkway will be extended north instead of ending at the current Highway 7 “T” intersection. It will then bend sharply west. It is expected the speed limit of the highway will be at least 90 km per hour but the design could easily support 100 as the 400 series of highways in Ontario. There is no contract out yet for the building of the main 18 kilometer road and new interchanges. It is expected to take 5 construction seasons once started.
Although a final date for completion of the entire project is not set yet, there is work already started and projects approved and planned. Anyone who has driven to the east end of Wellington Street or come out of Bingeman’s and headed towards Shirley has certainly seen the beginnings of the work. Below are separate projects in different areas that will be completed in phases.
- Work underway – connection of Wellington Street to Bingemans Centre Drive – to be opened in 2017
- Extension of Bruce through to the current interchange at Wellington – have not found a completion date. Crossing of CNR tracks is involved in the project.
- Moving of utilities on Victoria street bridge to be completed 2017
- Closing and rebuild of Victoria Street bridge over #85 to be completed 2018
- Each of the 5 controlled interchanges and terminus at northern end of The Hanlon – TBD
- The new 18 km roadway between #85 & Wellington in the west – The Hanlon in Guelph – TBD early 2020’s likely
- Design and Construction Report – 96 page pdf, February 2016, Prepared for the Ministry of Transportation by MMM Group. A detailed report on the work that is underway right now. Want to see how much work is done behind the scenes for even this relatively small piece of the puzzle.
- CBC News: Announcement of current Shirley Avenue Project
- WaterlooRegionConnected – In Depth Blog – Lively discussions and hopefully answers to questions like, how long will the Victoria Street Bridge be closed in 2018.
- The Record: In 2018 work will continue along the 18 km route, causing tears for some as stone homes may be demolished if no one steps up to move them.
- Proposed new bridge over grand river at Bingemans
- Southern Ontario MTO Project Plans