How do you keep up to 400,000 cars per day flowing smoothly and safely in one of the world’s most congested cities? With a public-private partnership and the end-to-end project expertise of SNC-Lavalin.
A world-class solution to a big city congestion problem
Toronto is a model city in many ways, but it has long suffered from epic traffic congestion. In 1999, the city turned to SNC-Lavalin and the 407 International Inc. consortium to help alleviate the problem. The consortium entered into a 99-year lease agreement to own, operate, design, build, and finance Highway 407 between Burlington and Pickering. The result is the world's first all-electronic, barrier-free toll highway. It is also quite the technological marvel.
No stopping zone
Highway 407 Express Toll Route (ETR) is a $1.4-billion triumph in pay-per-use infrastructure that runs some 108 kilometres and includes 197 on- and off-ramps, 156 bridges, 41 interchanges, 23 grade separations, and remarkably, not one single toll booth. Instead, 407 ETR uses a series of overhead structures that read vehicle-mounted transponders to establish distances travelled and issue bills accordingly. The result is free-flowing, wholly unimpeded traffic on a major artery—the envy of city planners worldwide. Moreover, Highway 407 is proof that a vital public service can be efficiently provided by the private sector.
Tolls that save money
Highway 407 ETR saves Torontonians time, fuel, and money according to an independent report released in late 2013 by the Conference Board of Canada, and continues to play a key role in residential and commercial growth along the highway. For their role in the largest privatization project in Canada, SNC-Lavalin and its partners received the Gold Award from the Canadian Council for Public-Private Partnerships at the 1999 National Awards for Innovation and Excellence.