History of King's Highway 402:
This freeway connects the Bluewater International Bridge near Sarnia to Highway 401 in London. The history of Highway 402 dates back to the late 1930s, when a new dual highway was proposed to connect the new Bluewater Bridge to Highway 7 east of Sarnia. When the Bluewater Bridge was initially completed in 1938, all bridge traffic had to pass through Sarnia along Highway 7. Construction began in 1938 on a 4 mile diversion known as the Bluewater Bridge Approach from Point Edward easterly to Highway 7 at Perch Creek, but grading was postponed due to World War II. Construction resumed on the new dual highway in 1947, and paving was completed in 1948. This new four-lane divided highway provided an alternate route for traffic heading to or coming from the United States by fully bypassing Highway 7 through Sarnia. The new highway was not assigned a route number until 1952, when the Bluewater Bridge Approach was designated as Highway 402. The highway was only 6 km in length. The route of Highway 402 ended just outside of Sarnia, where it merged with Highway 7.
Planning studies conducted in the 1960s identified the need for a future freeway connection between Sarnia and London. The route of Highway 402 was originally going to pass around the north side of London, but it was later decided to adopt a more southerly route. By the early 1970s, traffic congestion on Highway 7 and Highway 22 between Sarnia and London prompted the Ministry of Transportation to accelerate construction of an extension of Highway 402 to London. This work was carried out through a series of construction contracts beginning in 1972, which gradually extended the highway easterly towards London. Highway 402 was completed and opened to traffic between Sarnia and Warwick on October 13, 1978. Another section of Highway 402 opened to traffic between Warwick and the Highway 81 Interchange near Strathroy on November 26, 1979. The eastern section of Highway 402 from the Highway 2 Interchange near Delaware to Highway 401 near London opened to traffic on November 17, 1981. The final section of Highway 402 was completed and opened to traffic between the Highway 81 Interchange near Strathroy and the Highway 2 Interchange near Delaware on November 10, 1982.
The entire highway from Sarnia to London is four lanes, with two lanes provided for each direction of travel. On the approach to the Bluewater Bridge through Sarnia, additional lanes are provided to accommodate transport truck queuing. There are no Service Centres located along Highway 402, and services are not available at many of the interchanges. On September 26, 2019, a pilot project commenced to test higher speed limits along most sections of Highway 402 between Sarnia and London. In 2022, this pilot project concluded and the speed limit increase to 110 km/h was made permanent. Unless posted otherwise, the speed limit on Highway 402 is 110 km/h (70 mph). Lower speed limits are in place on the approach to the Bluewater Bridge near Sarnia. Exits along Highway 402 are numbered based on their distance from the Bluewater Bridge near Sarnia. Approximate distances along the highway can therefore be calculated by subtracting one exit number from another. For example, the distance from Highway 40 (Exit #6) to Highway 4 (Exit #100) is 94 km (100 - 6 = 94). Please visit the Highway 402 Mileage Chart page for a list of interchange numbers along Highway 402.
Additional Information About King's Highway 402: