Ontario Moving Ahead with First-Ever 2+1 Highway in Northern Ontario

Innovative design will support safe communities, create jobs, and promote economic growth

The Ontario government is taking another step forward to make roads safer and improve traffic flow in Northern Ontario. Today, the province 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.

“The 2+1 highway project is an important part of our government’s plan to build Ontario,” said Vic Fedeli, Minister of Economic Development, Job Creation and Trade, and MPP for Nipissing. “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. Together, we’re strengthening the economy and growing the North”.

Quick Facts
Two potential locations for the 2+1 highway pilot have been identified. While both sites will be assessed, the design and environmental assessment for Highway 11 from Sand Dam Road to Ellesmere Road (14 kilometres) will be prioritized.

The proposed locations for the 2+1 highway pilot were selected based on a site selection criteria report that received input from the public and the 2+1 Advancement Working Group.
From April 2022 to March 2023, the Ontario government is committing nearly $624 million to repair and expand provincial highways and bridges in Northern Ontario.
Ontario’s transportation plan for Northern Ontario includes more than 60 actions that will get more people moving, improve travel options for people in remote communities and support economic growth in the North.