Stretch of QEW between St. Catharines and Stoney Creek will remain 110 km/h for two more years

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Published January 14, 2022 at 10:51 am

Caroline Mulroney, Minister of Transportation in 2019, made the announcement that three stretches of Ontario highway would push the speed limit up to 110 km/h as part of a pilot project. (Photo: CP)

For the next two years, the stretch of the QEW between Stoney Creek and St. Catharines will remain at 110 km/h, up from the usual 100 km/h standard for 400-series highways in Ontario.

Right now, there are three stretches of highway in the province that serve as a pilot project the province used as a test to see if raising the speed limit by 10 km/h has an appreciable effect on accident rates.

Back on September 26, 2019, the Province began a two year pilot project, raising the speed limits from 100 km/h to 110 km/h on three sections of 400-series highways.

They are Queen Elizabeth Way from Hamilton to St. Catharines (a 32 km stretch), Highway 402 from Sarnia to London (a 90 km patch of road) and Highway 417 from Gloucester, just east of Ottawa to the Ontario-Quebec border (the longest piece at 102 km).

However, due to lessened traffic patterns caused by the pandemic – primarily in 2020 – the Ministry of Transportation (MTO) decided they hadn’t collected enough data to accurately gauge any differences.

What initially began as a two year project, meant to end in September 2021, has now been extended another two years with no additional stretches of highway added to the pilot project.

Said the MTO in October, “There has been a significant reduction in traffic volumes across Ontario highways, including in the pilot sections, due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Traffic volumes are an important factor that can influence vehicle speeds and the number and severity of collisions.”

It was officially announced earlier this week that there would be a two year extension although the province was making similar comments back in October.

The province has show some eagerness in pushing the limits up to 110 km/h, saying it would bring Ontario in line with “other provinces, such as Alberta, British Columbia, Manitoba, New Brunswick, Nova Scotia and Saskatchewan.”

 

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