The Government of Ontario announced it has issued a request for proposals (RFP) for a 2+1 highway pilot on Highway 11 north of North Bay.

A 2+1 highway is a three-lane highway with a centre passing lane that changes direction approximately every two to five kilometres. The highway model is used in other jurisdictions around the world and is more cost efficient than twinning a highway.

“This first of its kind highway pilot in North America will keep people and goods moving safely across Northern Ontario,” said Caroline Mulroney, Minister of Transportation. “This is a key next step to get shovels in the ground on critical infrastructure projects that will support a strong transportation network and create jobs.”

Qualified highway design consultants can submit their proposals for design and environmental assessment work through the Ministry of Transportation’s e-tendering portal until December 2022. The province will evaluate submissions and announce the successful bidder in 2023.

“This pilot project will help address the unique transportation needs of people and businesses in Northern Ontario that rely on our roads and highways to get where they need to go,” said Vic Fedeli, Minister of Economic Development, Job Creation and Trade, and MPP for Nipissing.

“Winter driving conditions can be severe in Northern Ontario. I want to thank the Ontario government for moving forward with the 2+1 pilot on Highway 11, which will help the residents of North Bay drive safer when this project is complete,” said North Bay Mayor Al McDonald.

“We’re excited to see the 2+1 pilot project moving forward. We’ve been working with Ontario for several years regarding safety on Highway 11 and have advocated for the 2+1 model. It is gratifying to see our hard work is paying off. Our main goal has always been the safety of our roads and our travellers, and we can’t thank the Ministry enough for delivering on their promise,” said Helene Culhane, chair of Going the Extra Mile for Safety.

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Featured image: 2 + 1 highways were first popularized in Sweden in the 1990s. (Government of Ontario)

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