Ontario Moving Forward with New Highway 7

Published on July 21, 2021

Advance Work to Replace Frederick Street Underpass Structure Underway


July 21, 2021


KITCHENER — The Ontario government has reached a key procurement milestone as part of advance work to build the new Highway 7. The Expression of Interest (EOI) closed for the Design-Build contract, which is the first step to bringing on a qualified Design-Build team to replace the Highway 7 Frederick Street underpass in Kitchener.


“The project is part of advance work to build the new Highway 7, which will connect the fast-growing urban centres of Kitchener, Waterloo and Guelph and is expected to provide relief to Highway 401,” said Amy Fee, MPP for Kitchener South-Hespeler.


Following the five-week EOI period, the Ministry of Transportation will now review submissions from interested companies and shortlist Design-Build teams to be invited to submit proposals later this fall to complete design and construction for the Highway 7 Frederick Street underpass replacement. The Design-Build contract is anticipated to be awarded in January 2022, with construction expected to begin following detail design, later in 2022.


“Our government is taking action and moving forward to accommodate the future construction of the new Highway 7, an essential project to support our economy and alleviate congestion between Kitchener, Waterloo and Guelph,” said Mike Harris, MPP for Kitchener-Conestoga.


The project includes the design and construction for the replacement of the existing Frederick Street underpass structure, reconstruction of Frederick Street between Edna Street and Ann Street, and related utility relocations. In addition, the project includes some paving on Highway 7/85 near Frederick Street, installation of lighting on the new underpass bridge, and replacement of the impacted concrete median and steel beam guide rail

“Highway 7 is an important link for Kitchener, Waterloo, Guelph and everywhere in-between,” said Kitchener Mayor Berry Vrbanovic. “As we come out of the COVID-19 pandemic, this next phase of the expansion project will create jobs and strengthen our region’s economic competitiveness.  We are grateful to see the provincial government’s ongoing work to move forward on this project with the beginning of Phase 3.”


“Our government knows the importance of making smart investments in highways, roads and bridges to strengthen and expand our highway network,” said Caroline Mulroney, Minister of Transportation. “Waterloo Region is an important centre of technology and innovation, and important to the success of our province. By advancing work to replace the Frederick Street underpass, we are one step closer to our goals of improving commute times and enhancing safety, growing the economy and connecting neighbouring communities.” 



  • The existing Highway 7 between Kitchener and Guelph is among the busiest two-lane provincial highways in Ontario with average daily traffic volumes of 26,500 vehicles per day.


  • The new Highway 7 will include:
    • A new 18-kilometre, four-lane freeway;
    • A new crossing over the Grand River; and
    • Seven interchanges, including a multi-level freeway to freeway interchange connecting the new Highway and Highway 85 (Kitchener-Waterloo Expressway).


  • The replacement of the Frederick Street underpass is required in order to accommodate the new interchange between Highway 85 and new Highway 7.


  • The province has allocated more than $21 billion in funding over the next 10 years, including approximately $2.6 billion in 2021–22, to expand and repair highways and bridges.


  • The draft Transportation Plan for Southwestern Ontario released in January 2020 includes the commitment to improve connections between Ontario’s southwest markets and the east by advancing design work to support construction of the new Highway 7.