History of King's Highway 80:
King's Highway 80 was a collector highway located in the Counties of Middlesex and Lambton which once which linked Highway 2 at Strathburn to Highway 40 and Courtright in the Sarnia area. The highway was approximately 70 km in length and it existed from the late 1930s up until the late 1990s, when jurisdiction over the highway was transferred or "downloaded" from the province to Middlesex County and Lambton County. Highway 80 was one of several Southwestern Ontario King's Highways lost entirely to provincial highway downloading in 1997-1998.
Highway 80 was first established in 1937, when the road from Alvinston to Highway 2 (via Glencoe) was assumed by the Department of Highways of Ontario (DHO) as a new provincial highway. Preliminary Route Plans were prepared by the DHO dated May 5 & May 11, 1937, which showed the proposed highway route in Middlesex and Lambton Counties, respectively. The proposed highway began at the Highway 79 Junction in Alvinston and continued southeasterly to Highway 2 near Glencoe. The DHO assumed jurisdiction over the road on August 11, 1937, and subsequently designated the new route as King's Highway 80. At the time of the highway's assumption in 1937, Highway 80 was approximately 13 miles (21 km) in length (See Map). With the exception of the Alvinston section, the entire route of Highway 80 was under provincial jurisdiction initially. The section of Highway 80 within Alvinston lying to the west of the Sydenham River Bridge was a non-assumed section of the King's Highway under municipal jurisdiction. Most sections of Highway 80 were gravel-surfaced at first, although the section of Highway 80 from Glencoe to the Highway 2 Junction at Strathburn was paved just before the province took over the highway in 1937. Highway 80 was paved from Glencoe to Walker's Corners east of Alvinston in 1956.
In the late 1950s, planning got underway to relocate a considerable section of Highway 80 onto a new alignment between Walker's Corners and Highway 79 south of Alvinston. The old route of Highway 80 between Alvinston and Walker's Corners was narrow and winding and had a long, one-lane bridge over the Sydenham River. An Assumption Plan was prepared by the DHO in August 1959, which showed the proposed acquisition of an existing township road between Highway 79 and the proposed Sydenham River Bridge as part of the new route of Highway 80. The plan was registered on November 5, 1959 and the road was designated as Highway 80 by an Order-in-Council, effective February 11, 1960. The proposed section of Highway 80 lying to the east of the Sydenham River was constructed on an entirely new alignment. This portion of Highway 80 New was designated by an Order-in-Council effective December 17, 1959. The new route of Highway 80 from Highway 79 to Walker's Corners was completed and opened to traffic in 1960 and was paved in 1961. The new route of Highway 80 bypassed Alvinston altogether and provided a more direct link to Highway 79. The original 1930s alignment of Highway 80 between followed Gardner Trail, Lobelia Drive and Conservation Drive. The old, bypassed route of Highway 80 was briefly renumbered as Highway 80B before being decommissioned altogether in May, 1964.
In the early 1960s, Highway 80 was extended westerly from Highway 79 near Alvinston to Highway 40 in Courtright. In July 1963, a Preliminary Assumption Plan was prepared by the DHO, which showed the proposed assumption of the Alvinston-Courtright Road (Development Road 471) as an extension of Highway 80. The plan was registered on August 12, 1963. The extension of Highway 80 from Alvinston to Courtright was designated by an Order-in-Council effective September 4, 1963. The extension added approximately 30 miles (49 km) to the length of Highway 80 (See Map). The Highway 80 Extension was already paved at the time the highway was assumed in 1963.
Initially, the province maintained jurisdiction over the route of Highway 80 through the Town of Glencoe. However, the province transferred jurisdiction over the section of Highway 80 through Glencoe to the municipality, effective August 27, 1966. The transferred section of Highway 80 through Glencoe was formally designated as a Municipal Connecting Link by an Order-in-Council, effective October 27, 1966. The Municipal Connecting Link designation through Glencoe was revoked by a Minister's Order, effective July 31, 1997.
During the 1990s, Ontario conducted a review of provincial highway functions across the province as part of a general plan for a realignment of provincial services. It was determined that Highway 80 served a predominantly local function and the highway was recommended for transfer to the municipal tier. On March 31, 1997, the entire route of Highway 80 was decommissioned as a King's Highway. Ownership of the road was transferred to the Counties of Lambton and Middlesex. Former Highway 80 is now officially known as Lambton Road 80 and Middlesex Road 80, but the route is still commonly referred to as "Highway 80" by many motorists. Services are surprisingly scarce on Highway 80. They are generally only available in larger towns and communities along the highway. Unless posted otherwise, the speed limit on Highway 80 is 90 km/h (55 mph). Please visit the Highway 80 Mileage Chart page for a list of mileage reference points along Highway 80.
Additional Information About King's Highway 80:
King's Highway 80 - Route Information (At Scott Steeves' website: asphaltplanet.ca)