The Class Environmental Assessment Process

The Ontario Ministry of Transportation (MTO) Class Environmental Assessment (EA) for Provincial Transportation Facilities (2000) provides a decision-making process to make sure that all relevant engineering and environmental factors are considered in the planning and design of transportation facilities.

This study will update engineering and environmental work completed in the initial preliminary design study, including the identification of alternatives to replace the Highway 400 North Canal Bridges. It is a "Group B" Class Environmental Assessment (EA), which includes major improvements to existing facilities. Upon completion of the study, a Design and Construction Report (DCR) will be prepared to document the following:

  • the major features of the proposed work
  • updated existing conditions in the study area
  • a full description of the project’s consultation program
  • identification of all project approvals, licenses, and permits that have been, or must be obtained
  • environmental impacts and mitigation
  • considerations for construction staging and traffic management

The DCR will be made publicly available for 30 calendar days to provide the public with an opportunity to review and comment on the document. If after the 30-day public review period for the DCR, no significant concerns have been identified, construction may commence subject to funding and approvals. The DCR is not eligible for a Part II Order (i.e. bump-up opportunity) under the Ontario Environmental Assessment Act.

For more details, visit MTO Class EA and Ontario EA Act.

Class EA Diagram

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the purpose of this study?

The purpose of the study is to identify a recommended plan for the complete replacement of the northbound and southbound Highway 400 Bridges over the North Canal of the Holland Marsh, and Canal Road. The proposed improvements will take into consideration the future 10-laning of Highway 400 with high-occupancy (HOV) lanes and the realignment of the North Canal.

What type of work is planned as part of this study?

Factor-specific environmental specialist work will include: fish and fish habitat, terrestrial resources including species-at-risk, groundwater, land use, landscape, contaminated property and waste management (including an Excess Materials Management Plan), archaeology, and drainage / surface water. In general, this work is required to update existing conditions, confirm impacts associated with the updated improvements, and to identify changes to statutory requirements since the original study.

Who are stakeholders?

Stakeholders are broadly defined as any individual or group that is affected by, or is interested in the project. MTO is committed to an extensive consultation program that actively engages and involves members of the public, non-government organizations (NGOs), municipalities, emergency service providers, Indigenous communities, external agencies, business, and industry.