North America’s busiest and most congested highway has undergone a major upgrade including 18 kilometres of new lanes and almost double its previous lanes.

The provincial government has announced the completion of its Highway 401 expansion project from Mississauga to Milton. And any driver in the area can finally breathe a sigh of relief as the multi-lane expansion will “help fight gridlock and keep goods and people moving across the Greater Golden Horseshoe.” AKA it’s about to be a lot less congested.

“Highway 401 is the busiest and most congested highway in North America with approximately 180,000 vehicles on average per weekday from Credit River in Mississauga to Regional Road 25 in Milton,” said Caroline Mulroney, Minister of Transportation.

“Widening Highway 401 is another step forward in our government’s plan to build Ontario with investments in our transportation system to reduce gridlock, improve economic productivity and get drivers home to their loved ones faster.”

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Here’s a breakdown of what’s new on the 401:

  • 12-lane core-collector system from the Credit River to Winston Churchill Boulevard
  • 12-lane core-collector system from Highway 407 ETR/Highway 401 interchange to east of the James Snow Parkway
  • 10 lanes from Winston Churchill Boulevard to the Highway 407 ETR/Highway 401 interchange
  • 10 lanes from the James Snow Parkway to the west of Regional Road 25
  • A new median High Occupancy Vehicle (HOV) lane in each direction
  • An additional 50 spaces at the existing Mississauga Road carpool lot (now open)
  • Nine new, replaced, or widened bridges
highway 401
Photo via Government of Ontario

According to the provincial government, expanding Highway 401 and adding HOV lanes in the Mississauga and Milton area are among the more than 100 actions identified in its Connecting the GGH: A Transportation Plan for the Greater Golden Horseshoe.

Now it’s time to put it to the test. Fingers crossed rush hour is more of a breeze… Here’s to hoping.