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Highway 40 is the main North-South Provincial highway in Southwestern Ontario, linking Chatham, Ontariomarker to Sarnia, Ontariomarker.


The road originally connected Highway 2 in Chatham, Ontariomarker to Highway 7/Highway 22 in Sarnia, Ontariomarker. It was created in 1934. The original length was 87 km, and travelled from Highway 2 in Chatham, to Highway 7/22 in Sarnia.

Re-alignments and upgrades

Eventually, traffic on the road started to increase, and by 1962, the Sarnia Bypass was constructed, and finished in 1965. The Sarnia Bypass is a divided highway with at-grade intersections, but no driveways and adjacent properties.

Until the 1970s, the Bluewater Bridgemarker Approach (Which evolved into today's Highway 402) led directly to an interchange with Highway 40 (now used as Highway 40's interchange with Exmouth Street, Former Highway 22, a Parclo A2), before terminating at an intersection with London Road (Former Highway 22). When it was re-aligned, another interchange (a Parclo B4) was constructed just north of the existing interchange.

Exmouth Street would be redirected to meet Highway 7 at that junction, using the former bypassed alignment of old Highway 402.

The bypass was temporarily designated as Highway 40A (until the Bypass was completed and open to traffic). Upon completion, the Sarnia Bypass was re-named Highway 40 (Highway 40A was deleted) (in 1965), and the old alignment along Brock Street, Vidal Street, and Front Street on the west side of Sarnia was re-numbered as Highway 40B, until being deleted in 1993.

During the early 1970s, the province extended Highway 40 along Kent County Road 11, to meet with Highway 3 in Blenheim, Ontariomarker, adding an additional 17 km to the roadway's distance.

St. Clair Parkway

Construction began in the early 1970s on a major realignment of Highway 40 between Wallaceburgmarker and Sarnia. The old alignment of the road was bypassed by a newly constructed (and much straighter) road around 5 km inland from the St. Clair Rivermarker. This new alignment of Highway 40 opened in stages in the mid-1970s. From roughly half-way between Highway 80 (now Lambton CR 80) and CR 4, to the Sarnia Bypass, the road was built as a four-lane divided highway. Once this new alignment was created, the road's length was 103 km, as around 44 km of the old alignment was bypassed.

The old alignment was turned back from Sarnia to Sombra in 1979, from Sombra to Walpole Islandmarker in 1980, and finally from Walpole Island to Wallaceburg in 1984. The old alignment was given the name St. Clair Parkway, and designated as Lambton County Road 33 and Kent County Road 33.

The new (current) alignment of Highway 40 was built with a wide-enough right of way for future twinning and upgrading to become a freeway, if the need ever arises. There are no private properties on Highway 40's new alignment, and the only access is at intersecting roads, or at traffic signal-governed intersections, which may become overpasses and interchange if upgrading takes place. The entire Sarnia Bypass (along the south and east ends of Sarnia) is also built to this standard for relatively easy upgrading. At the moment, the only parts of the Bypass which are four-lane divided are the Michigan Avenue to Wellington Street stretch and from Indian Road to Churchill Road, the latter where Highway 40 changes direction from east-west to north-south to lead to Wallaceburg. The Highway 40 remains a four-lane divided road from the change of direction to north-south to just south of Rokeby Line.

Higwhay 40 today

April 1, 1997 saw a huge change in Ontario's provincial highway network: over 4000 km of highways were turned back to county, city, and local authorities. Highway 40 was largely spared, although south of Highway 401, the road was turned back, shortening the road by the 17 km it gained in the 1970s.

January 1, 1998 saw further changes to Highway 40. It was rerouted through Chathammarker, Ontariomarker along the route of Former Highway 2 (along Grand Avenue), instead of its old route through downtown via Third Street, Wellington Street, Lacroix Street, and Park Avenue. The length of Hwy 40 is now 91.8 km.

African-Canadian Heritage Tour

The African-Canadian Heritage Tour follows part of Highway 40, from its Interchange with Higwhay 401, to Chatham-Kent CR 29 (Countryview Line) in Oungah, Ontario, where it turns right (eastbound) onto CR 29 (towards Dresden, Ontariomarker). See the main article for more information on the trail's path.


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