Highway 416-Barnsdale Interchange Included in Ontario Budget

The Ontario Government tabled its 2024 Budget Tuesday, with the big infrastructure highlight locally being the planned interchange on Highway 416 at Barnsdale Road.

The interchange has been in the works since 2021, with initial meetings between the province and the City of Ottawa, as well as preliminary design and environmental assessment studies being undertaken.

The interchange, which was first discussed publicly more than a decade ago when there were plans to build a major water park on Moodie Drive north of Brophy Road, will serve the rapidly growing southern area of Barrhaven’s Half Moon Bay community, as well as the villages of Manotick and Richmond.

In the area of the interchange, there is planned residential and commercial growth.

“Promise made! Promise kept!” was the reaction of Nepean MPP Lisa MacLeod, who announced plans for the bridge in 2021 when she was the Minister of Sport, Tourism, Culture and Heritage.

The City of Ottawa had previously identified the Barnsdale interchange as necessary infrastructure as part of its Transportation Master Plan – and is the only missing link to Ontario’s 400 series highways and Ontario’s important Moving Goods Corridors. More direct access to Highway 416 will help support rapid residential growth and the increase of economic activity bringing thousands of new jobs to Barrhaven.

Currently in Barrhaven, the only Highway 416 interchange is at Fallowfield Road. Once built, this new interchange will better serve residents to the south. In rural communities south of Barrhaven, Manotick and Richmond are served by the Bankfield/Brophy interchange, while North Gower and Osgoode are serviced by the interchange at Roger Stevens Drive.

In October 2021, MacLeod announced a verbal agreement was reached to begin the environmental study, a process that was to take years to complete.

Morrison Hershfield Limited was retained by the MTO to complete the Preliminary Design and Class EA Study for this assignment. Reasonable alternatives to address the required improvements will be developed and evaluated leading to the selection of the Preliminary Preferred Alternative(s) and a Recommended Plan for the interchange.

This Preliminary Design and Class Environmental Assessment (EA) Study involves the conceptual design of a new interchange around the intersection of Highway 416 and Barnsdale Road in the City of Ottawa. Currently, an overpass carries traffic east-west along Barnsdale Road, over Highway 416. The intersection’s current configuration does not allow for any entry to, or exit from, Highway 416.

The proposed interchange improvements are to occur to Highway 416, which are intended to accommodate movements in all directions, and to address increased traffic demands, and operational and safety concerns. As such, it is classified as a Group B Project under the MTO Class Environmental Assessment for Provincial Transportation Facilities (2000).

The purpose of the Class EA Study is to identify a Recommended Plan for a new interchange as part of the Ministry’s ongoing review of safety and operational needs for the provincial highway network. The proposed (new) interchange would accommodate traffic movements in all directions by providing entry and exit from both the northbound and southbound lanes of Highway 416, and is intended to address increased traffic demands, and operational and safety concerns.

The details of the proposed work will be further developed as the Preliminary Design progresses and will be presented to the general public, Indigenous Communities, provincial and other external agencies, Members of Provincial Parliament (MPPs), municipalities, emergency services providers (i.e., fire, police and ambulance), local businesses and property owners, interest groups and utility companies (collectively referred to as interested and / or affected stakeholders) at a future Public Information Centre (PIC).