If you regularly drive on Hwy. 401, you know exiting the Waverly Road interchange can be frustrating, especially during rush hour, when long lineups regularly force drivers to wait in a live lane of traffic. But a unique partnership could fast track planned upgrades to the interchange by more than a decade and open the door to additional business investment in our community.

The Municipality of Clarington, the Regional Municipality of Durham and SmartREIT, the developer of a proposed outlet mall just west of the interchange, have each committed to chipping in $2.5 million toward the total cost of the project. The provincial government will pick up the remainder of the $19.2-million tab.

Upgrades Promise to Improve Traffic Safety

The upgrades promise to improve traffic safety and free up congestion into Bowmanville, offering drivers a sigh of relief. Upgrades will also pave the way for the development of a 273,000-square-foot outlet mall at the site of the vacant RONA property. An analysis suggests the mall could serve as a tourist draw.

Upgrades will benefit a Comfort Inn Hotel currently under construction, as well as a Suncor-Petro Canada Service Station planned for the former location of the Fifth Wheel. Together, these investments will create about 1,500 new jobs, the municipality reports.

Here’s a roundup of some additional news items regarding our community:

Future GO train stations:

The municipality is working with a consultant to plan community destinations surrounding Clarington’s two future GO train stations in Bowmanville and Courtice with the goal of creating ‘transportation hubs’ that can support all-day GO Train service, something many of us would appreciate.

Clarington’s Planning Director David Crome explains: “Will it just be a quicker way out of town, or can we use this to stimulate economic growth and development? Our hope is that by locating higher intensity land uses around these stations, we will see this investment in transportation infrastructure blossom into a stimulus for creating multi-use neighbourhoods with jobs, shopping, residences and cultural activities. We want to see people commuting to Clarington to work.”

To learn more, visit www.clarington.net/GOEastClarington.

French language school:

We will soon say ‘bonjour’ to a French language public school for kindergarten to Grade 6 students that will also be home to a daycare and early childhood centre. A French language public school board purchased the former Ontario Street Public School property in Bowmanville earlier this year with plans to open the school in September 2018

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