Ontario's future Bradford Bypass is officially one step closer to reality as the province announces the selection of a contractor to build an integral part of the project.

Brennan Paving & Construction Ltd. won the bid to design and build a new bridge that will allow County of Simcoe Road 4 between 8th and 9th Line to cross over the future Bradford Bypass. The Bypass, once complete, will span four lanes and connect Highways 404 and 404 in Simcoe County and York Region.

“A province that is growing as fast as ours needs a modern transportation system to support it and that is why our government is saying ‘yes’ to finally building badly needed highways like the Bradford Bypass,” said Minister of Transportation Caroline Mulroney. “Awarding the contract to build the bridge for the Bradford Bypass brings us another step closer to getting shovels into the ground on this critical project -- one that local communities have been asking to get built for decades.”

Construction on the new bridge is expected to begin later this year, with an expected completion date by late fall 2024.

The Bradford Bypass has been in the works for a number of years, with the most recent provincial transportation plan, released in March, laying out an official path forward for it and several other transportation initiatives, including the controversial Highway 413. The Bypass would span 16.2 km between Highways 400 and 404, and is expected to cut down travel time for both motorists and trucks by more than 60%, saving up to an estimated 35 minutes.

"The Bradford Bypass will unlock employment lands and lock in Bradford's urban boundary, ensuring that we grow in a smart, sustainable, compound way," said Bradford West Gwillimbury Mayor Rob Kefer. "Our business community, our manufacturers, as well as for our workers that are commuting back and forth to work will be able to spend more time at home with their children."

The province estimates that during construction, the Bradford Bypass will contribute $274M in annual GDP and support 2,640 jobs per year. Although no timeline for construction has been laid out as of yet, a project-specific assessment of its environmental impacts in currently underway and is expected to be complete by December 2022.