Ontario Highway 401
Highway 401 is a controlled-access 400-series highway in the Canadian province of Ontario. It stretches 828 kilometres from Windsor in the west to the Ontario–Quebec border in the east. The speed limit is 100 kmh throughout its length, with the only exceptions the posted 80 kmh limit westbound in Windsor and in most construction zones. The highway is also a Core Route in the National Highway System of Canada.
About Ontario Highway 401 in brief
Highway 401 is a controlled-access 400-series highway in the Canadian province of Ontario. It stretches 828 kilometres from Windsor in the west to the Ontario–Quebec border in the east. The part of Highway 401 that passes through Toronto is North America’s busiest highway, and one of the widest. It forms the road transportation backbone of the Quebec City–Windsor Corridor, along which over half of Canada’s population resides. The speed limit is 100 kmh throughout its length, with the only exceptions the posted 80 kmh limit westbound in Windsor and in most construction zones. The highway is also a Core Route in the National Highway System of Canada. It is one of world’s busiest highways; a 2016 analysis stated the annual average daily traffic count between Weston Road and Highway 400 in Toronto was nearly 420,000,while a second study estimates that over 500,000 vehicles travel that section some days. The auto parts delivery systems of Michigan and Ontario have contributed to the highway’s status as the world’s busy truck route, carrying 60 per cent of vehicular trade between Canada and the US. In 2011, construction began on a westward extension called the Herb Gray Parkway. In Summer 2019, widening of the highway between HighwayRegional Road 8 in Kitchener to HighwayRegion Road 24 in Cambridge to 12 lanes was completed. There are plans underway to widen the remaining four-lane sections between Windsor and London to six lanes. The expansive twelve-plus-lane collector–express system now existing from Pickering through Toronto partway across Mississauga, and is currently being extended west through Mississauga to Milton.
The Highway of Heroes designation was extended west to Keele Street in Toronto, to coincide with the move of the coroner’s office to the new Forensic Services and Coroner’s Complex at the Humber River Hospital. An 8-kilometre section of the parkway, east of the E. C. Row interchange, opened on June 28, 2015, with a remaining section completed and opened on November 21. This new route follows but does not replace, the former Highway 3 between the former end of the freeway and the E C. Row Expressway, at which point it turns and parallels that route towards the site of the future Gordie Howe International Bridge. In 2006, the highway carried an average of 373,700vehicles daily in the Great Lakes region, connecting the populous Great Lakes cottage region with New York and central Ontario’s cottage region. This makes it North America’s busiest roadway, surpassing the Santa Monica Freeway in Atlanta and I-75 in Los Angeles and just on the I–in-time parts delivery system of the highly integrated automotive industry. In 1965 it was given a second designation, the Macdonald–Cartier Freeway, in honour of two Fathers of Confederation. At the end of 1968, the Gananoque–Brockville section was bypassed and the final intersection grade-separated near Kingston, making the entire 817. 9-km length.