Introduction

Proponent

Ministry of Transportation

Location

Highway 6 section at Freelton to the proposed Hanlon Expressway/Wellington County Road 34 Connecting Road interchange to the north

Type

Transportation

Reference Numer

9609

Contact

Environmental Approvals Branch, 416-314-8001

Toll free 1-800-461-6290

Current Status

Environmental assessment: approved, January 22, 2009

Project Summary

The purpose of the undertaking is the modifications to the Highway 6 corridor; Freelton Northerly 16.9 km to Guelph

Project History

  • Environmental assessment: approved
    • Date submitted:  February 15, 1996
    • Expiry of public comment period for Ministry Review: July 30, 2007
    • Decision date: January 22, 2009

Environmental Assessment

The Ministry of Transportation prepared an Environmental Assessment for the Highway 6, Freelton Northerly 16.9 km to Guelph undertaking. Specifically, the undertaking is the modifications to the Highway 6 corridor in the form of a new mid-concession route west of existing Highway 6 between the City of Hamilton - Wellington County boundary (Maddaugh Road) and Highway 401 and westerly, immediately parallel to Highway 401, to connect to the Hanlon Expressway.

The project boundaries are defined by the existing 4-lane Highway 6 section at Freelton to the south and the north-oriented speed change lanes of the proposed Hanlon Expressway/Wellington County Road 34 Connecting Road interchange to the north.

Within the study area, a number of transportation problems associated with the existing highway network were identified by the Ministry of Transportation which constituted a specific need for the undertaking, including:

  • Capacity deficiencies on Highway 6 causing congestion on major municipal roadways;
  • Conflicts between high speed regional traffic and slower local traffic; and,
  • Accidents resulting from the congestion and mixed traffic.

The purpose of the undertaking is to introduce transportation system improvements in the Highway 6 corridor between Freelton and the City of Guelph which contribute to a reduction in the growth of road congestion, accident potential and associated costs, as well as support municipal Official Plan objectives.

The Environmental Assessment was submitted on February 15, 1996, before the 1997 amendments to the Environmental Assessment Act (EAA) and is therefore defined as a transitional Environmental Assessment and must be assessed against the requirements of the Environmental Assessment Act prior to the amendments. As a transitional Environmental Assessment, there was no requirement for Terms of Reference to be prepared or approved. This Environmental Assessment was also not subject to Ontario Regulation 616/98 - Deadlines.

During the course of the public and government review of the Final Environmental Assessment (February - November 1996), several reviewing agencies had additional and/or outstanding concerns. As a result, the Ministry of Transportation determined that an Addendum was warranted in order to address these concerns and to provide additional documentation for clarification purposes.

In November 2000, the Ministry of Transportation prepared and submitted to the Ministry of the Environment an Addendum. The Ministry of the Environment circulated the Addendum to relevant members of the Government Review Team in 2001 to determine whether the Ministry of Transportation had addressed outstanding concerns. Several members of the Government Review Team still had outstanding concerns and the Ministry of Transportation was given the opportunity to respond to those concerns.

In 2005, the Ministry of Transportation conducted additional consultation with potentially affected First Nation groups. On January 26, 2007, the Ministry of Transportation completed its consultation with the First Nations and requested that the Ministry of the Environment continue its preparation of the ministry Review of the Environmental Assessment.

A Notice of Completion of the ministry’s Review was published on June 29, 2007. A five-week public comment period on the Review expired on July 30, 2007. All comments on the Environmental Assessment and the ministry’s Review were considered.

On January 22, 2009, the Environmental Assessment was approved, subject to a number of conditions.