In a letter to the provincial government, Town of Bradford West Gwillimbury Mayor Rob Keffer has requested further funding for the Bradford Bypass project.
The 16.2-kilometre four-lane highway will connect Highway 404 in East Gwillimbury and Highway 400 north of the 8th Line in Bradford.
"This much needed additional highway capacity will improve the movement of goods including agricultural products, grow and retain business investments and create new investment opportunities throughout our region," reads the letter addressed to Minister of Finance Peter Bethlanfalvy.
He added that the highway will also boost travel for residents and reduce congestion, carbon dioxide emissions and traffic accidents.
Minister of Transportation Caroline Mulroney announced in August 2019 that the province would be moving forward with the highway's design and environmental assessment updates.
"This announcement was very well received by our community and we are pleased to see the progress made over the past several months," said the mayor. "To maintain that progress and facilitate additional steps toward construction of the highway, we encourage your Ministry to allocate sufficient funds in the province's upcoming budget."
Councillor Jonathan Scott supported the mayor's request, noting the highway will help in the overall revitalization of the downtown core.
"The bypass is critical to ensuring downtown revitalization can move forward so we can make that area a destination. Commuters need a faster route home and our downtown needs to be for shoppers," he said. "If the province can get these early works funded this fiscal year, it would show our community the momentum behind this long-awaited project."
Keffer suggested next steps for the project could include land acquisition, initial clearing and grading work.
"I thank you in advance for your consideration of this request. The Highway 400-404 link is a much needed infrastructure investment for Simcoe County and York Region. We look forward to working with your government on delivering this benefit to our residents and businesses," he said.
The provincial budget meeting will take place later this month.