The Government of Ontario in Canada has announced the commencement of construction works for the Highway 427 expansion project through the York region.

A groundbreaking ceremony was held at Vaughan in the presence of Ontario Minister of Transportation Kathryn McGarry and Vaughan MPP Steven Del Duca.

The project involves extending the highway by 6.6km from Highway 7 to Major Mackenzie Drive, as well as widening it to eight lanes from Finch Avenue to Highway 7.

The average daily traffic on Highway 427 from Finch Avenue to Highway 407 ETR is estimated to increase from nearly 115,000 vehicles to more than 137,000 by 2021. This expansion project is expected to ease congestion and improve traffic movement.

The Highway 427 expansion project is also expected to support economic growth and create jobs in the region.

“Expanding Highway 427 will help keep people and businesses in the York and Peel region moving.”

McGarry said: “Expanding Highway 427 will help keep people and businesses in the York and Peel region moving.

“Less time spent in traffic means people have more time to do the things that are important to them – our government is committed to helping businesses and families in their daily lives.”

Once the construction works is complete in 2021, High Occupancy Toll (HOT) lanes with electronic tolling will be installed on a nearly 15.5km stretch on Highway 427 in both directions between south of Highway 409 and north of Rutherford Road.

Ontario has committed an investment of C$616m ($480.6m) for this Highway 427 expansion project in Vaughan.

Furthermore, it will invest more than C$2.5bn ($1.95bn) in 2017-18 for repair and expansion works on highways and bridges across the province.