History of King's Highway 115:
King's Highway 115 is an important freeway which connects Peterborough to Highway 401 near Newcastle. The highway serves both suburban commuter traffic heading to and from the Greater Toronto Area (GTA) and cottage country traffic bound for the Bancroft and Kawartha Lakes recreational areas. Highway 115 was first constructed in the early 1950s in order to shorten the highway distance between Toronto and Peterborough. Until the completion of Highway 115, traffic heading to Peterborough from Toronto had to use a much longer route, via Highway 2 and Highway 28 through Port Hope. Construction began on the new 17-mile two-lane highway in 1952. Highway 115 was completed and opened to traffic between Highway 35 at Enterprise Hill and Highway 28 near Springville in October, 1954 (See Map). The new link offered by Highway 115 reduced the highway distance between Toronto and Peterborough by approximately 6 miles. Initially, the new Highway 115 did not connect with Highway 401 at Newcastle. Motorists had to drive north on Highway 35 through Orono in order to reach Highway 115 at Enterprise Hill. An overlapped, concurrent routing of Highway 35 & Highway 115 between Enterprise Hill and Highway 401 was first established in 1955, following the completion of the Newcastle Diversion and Orono Bypass. After the extension of the route to Newcastle in 1955, the length of Highway 115 stood at 27.7 miles. Interestingly, the overlapped route of Highway 35 & Highway 115 was not reflected on the Official Road Map until 1961 (See Map), even though the Highway 115 designation was referenced in the Newcastle area in other Department of Highways' documents as early as 1955.
The route of Highway 115 was extended north from the Highway 28 Junction near Springville to Peterborough in the mid-1960s. Highway 115 was routed concurrently with Highway 28 for approximately 2 miles through Springville. At Highway 7 (the Peterborough Bypass), Highway 115 turned east and ran concurrently with Highway 7 for approximately 3 miles to The Queensway (known as The Parkway today). Highway 115 followed The Queensway north into Peterborough, where Highway 115 ended at Highway 7B at the intersection of Monaghan Road and Lansdowne Street (See Map). It is believed that the route of Highway 115 was extended north in conjunction with the establishment of a new route for Highway 7B within the City of Peterborough via Monaghan Road during 1964. Previously, Highway 7B ran through Downtown Peterborough via George Street and Water Street. The northern terminus of Highway 115 is listed as Highway 7B (Monaghan Road) in Department of Highways of Ontario (DHO) mileage tables dated 1965, although the new northern section of the route seems to have been inadvertently omitted on the 1965 Official Ontario Road Map. The length of Highway 115 grew to 35.1 miles as a result of the new northern extension to Peterborough.
In 1970, the Highway 115 designation was apparently removed between the Highway 28 Junction near Springville and Peterborough, essentially reversing the 1964 highway extension. Although the 1970 DHO mileage table lists the northern terminus of Highway 115 as Highway 7B, subsequent mileage tables and other documents produced during the first half of the 1970s show the northern terminus of Highway 115 as being at the Highway 28 Junction south of Springville (See Map). In the mid-1970s, it was decided that Highway 115 would be extended north from the Highway 28 Junction south of Springville to Peterborough on a new alignment. This proposed section of Highway 115 began at the Highway 28 Junction and headed northeasterly to Peterborough. The new section of Highway 115 tied into the Peterborough Bypass (Highway 7) at The Queensway. In preparation for the arrival of Highway 115, The Queensway was once again signed as a portion of Highway 115 between the Peterborough Bypass and the Highway 7B Junction at the intersection of Lansdowne Street and Monaghan Road beginning in 1976. Construction was completed on the new section of Highway 115 in late 1978, resulting in a continuous route for Highway 115 between the Highway 28 Junction south of Springville and Monaghan Road (See Map). Following the completion of the route to Peterborough in 1978, the length of Highway 115 stood at 55 km. Beginning in 1984, the route of Highway 28 was signed concurrently with Highway 115 between the Highway 28 South Junction near Springville and Highway 7B (Monaghan Road) in Peterborough (See Map). The City of Peterborough completed The Parkway (formerly The Queensway) to Clonsilla Avenue in the late 1980s. Although this was a non-assumed portion of the route under municipal jurisdiction, Highway 28 & Highway 115 were signed via the Parkway and Clonsilla Avenue from 1989 up until 1997 (See Map). The Official Ontario Road Map shows the route as Highway 28 only, although Ministry of Transportation of Ontario (MTO) mileage tables indicate that Highway 28 & Highway 115 were indeed signed concurrently via The Parkway and Clonsilla Avenue up until 1997. The route of Highway 115 ended at the Highway 7B Junction at the intersection of Clonsilla Avenue and Monaghan Road prior to 1997.
During 1997, the entire route of Highway 7B through Peterborough was decommissioned, along with a section of Highway 28 between Peterborough and Lakefield. As a result, the route of Highway 115 was truncated at The Parkway exit on the Peterborough Bypass. Signs marking the route of Highway 115 on the non-assumed municipally-owned sections of the route through the City of Peterborough were removed in the late 1990s. In order to simplify the highway route numbering in the Peterborough area, Highway 115 was extended northeasterly from The Parkway to the eastern end of the Peterborough Bypass at Lansdowne Street in July, 2003. As a result, the northernmost 13 km of Highway 115 is signed concurrently with Highway 7. This concurrent section of Highway 7 & Highway 115 near Peterborough is signed as part of the Trans-Canada Highway's Central Ontario Route.
Growing traffic volumes along this corridor prompted the MTO to widen the highway during the 1980s and early 1990s. Highway 115 was widened to four lanes by twinning the existing roadway from Enterprise Hill to Peterborough. Between Highway 401 and Enterprise Hill, Highway 35 & Highway 115 was converted into a RIRO (Right-In, Right-Out) expressway. A continuous centre median barrier was installed along this previously undivided highway, which eliminated all left-turning movements from the highway. Grade separations were constructed periodically along the highway to allow traffic wishing to turn left to exit the highway and turn around so that the desired destination could be accessed by a right turn instead. The highway design proved to be an economical way of increasing the highway's capacity and improving safety without having to resort to large-scale property expropriation along the existing highway. The new RIRO expressway design also allowed access to remain open to the businesses and homes which line Highway 35 & Highway 115. A similar highway design was employed on Highway 11 between Barrie and Gravenhurst.
Highway 115 is a four-lane divided highway for its entire length. The first 19 km of Highway 115 is a limited-access expressway, but the balance of the highway is a fully controlled-access freeway. Services are very plentiful along the Highway 35 & Highway 115 Expressway, but there are no services available from the Highway 35 Interchange at Enterprise Hill to Peterborough. Services are readily available at most of the interchanges in Peterborough. The speed limit on Highway 115 is 100 km/h (60 mph) from Enterprise Hill to Peterborough and 90 km/h (55 mph) from Newcastle to Enterprise Hill. Exits along Highway 115 are numbered based on their distance from the Highway 401 Interchange at Newcastle. Approximate distances along the highway can therefore be calculated by subtracting one exit number from another. For example, the distance from Highway 35 North (Exit #19) to The Parkway (Exit #51) is 32 km (51 - 19 = 32). Please visit the Highway 115 Mileage Chart page for a list of interchange numbers along Highway 115.
Additional Information About King's Highway 115: