Ontario Government Announcements – Northern Highways

Ontario Moving Moving Forward With 2+1 Highway Pilot in Northern Ontario


The Government has officially 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 every 2 to 5 kilometers.

The province has identified the top two locations for the proposed 2+1 highway pilot:

  • Highway 11 from Sand Dam Road to Ellesmere Road (14 kilometres)
  • Highway 11 from Highway 64 to Jumping Caribou Lake Road (16 kilometres)

The government is hoping that this will help address some of the issues on the Northern highway in a more cost-effective manner to keep goods and people moving. If successful, the Government will consider expanding the project in more areas across the North.

New Standard for Clearing Snow on Highways 11 and 17


The Provincial Government is improving road safety in Northern Ontario by introducing new snow clearing standards for Highways 11 and 17. The new “ON Trans-Canada” standard requires contractors to clear the highways to bare pavement within 12 hours of the end of a winter storm.

The new standard for clearing snow follows a detailed technical review of winter maintenance operations on Highways 11 and 17 and analysis of data from the winter maintenance pilot from the past two winter seasons on these highways.

In addition to this new standard, the province has taken several other actions to enhance its winter highway maintenance, including:

  • Increased use of underbody plows that have better performance in removal of snowpack as compared to conventional plows.
  • Increased proactive use of anti-icing liquids before storms to make it easier to clear snow.
  • Building an additional 24 Road Weather Information Stations (14 in Northern Ontario) to respond to changing winter weather conditions faster and more effectively.