As part of the government’s Open Ontario plan to create jobs and strengthen the economy, the Minister of Transportation announced on Thursday March 10, 2011, the extension of Highway 407 East is to be extended to Harmony Road in Oshawa by 2015, and then to Highway 35/115 by 2020 helping to relieve highway congestion and create about 13,000 jobs in the first phase alone.
“The Greater Oshawa Chamber of Commerce has been an active member of the Highway 407 Community Advisory Committee since the fall of 2002 and today’s announcement is great news,” stated Cris Douglas, President of the Chamber. Adding that “in recent months the issue had become extremely politicized and in a recent letter to the Premier, the Chamber felt we needed to ratchet down the political rhetoric, bring all stakeholders together to find an acceptable alternative, set out firm timelines and commitments for the extension past Oshawa to 35/115.”
The first phase of construction originally planned from Brock Road in Pickering to Simcoe Street in Oshawa, is to be extended further to Harmony Road by 2015 to improve traffic flow.
“Since 2004, the Greater Oshawa Chamber of Commerce with the support of the Ontario Chamber of Commerce has been calling for the completion of the 407 to Highway 35/115,” by stressing “the negative economic, safety and capital investment impact to Ontario of not proceeding to complete the Eastward Extension—Highway 407 eastward from Brock Rd.,” stated Bob Malcolmson, CEO & General Manger of the Chamber.
The Greater Oshawa Chamber of Commerce recognizes that the Hwy. 407 extension to Oshawa will be a definite asset to the community’s biggest employment generator, UOIT. Hwy 407 avails Oshawa of the opportunity to see the potential of new business and industry setting up in vacant employment lands in the north end of Oshawa around the University. This will add badly needed business property tax revenue to the City coffers. New businesses will help give relief to the residential property tax payers and create new jobs, reducing our unemployment numbers.
Also with the announcement of Phase Two of the extension to Highway 35/115 in Clarington to be completed by 2020, with an interim interchange at Taunton Road for the East Durham Link by 2017 it will enable business and the Municipality of Clarington to plan for the future.