History of King's Highway 85:
King's Highway 85 is a short collector freeway serving the Kitchener-Waterloo area. This highway designation was reintroduced in 2003, after a 22 year hiatus. Between 1981 and 2003, Highway 85 was numbered as Highway 86. The history of Highway 85 dates back to 1934, when the Province of Ontario assumed the Kitchener-Elmira Road as a provincial highway. During the 1960s and early 1970s, Kitchener-Waterloo was bypassed by a new four-lane freeway known as the Conestoga Parkway. The original highway was almost completely bypassed by a new through route in the 1970s. After the St. Jacobs and Elmira Bypasses were completed, only one 3 km segment of the original Highway 85 route was still being used as the mainline highway. In 1981, Highway 85 was renumbered as Highway 86, but the original highway number was restored in 2003. However, the modern Highway 85 ends just north of the Waterloo City Limit. The rest of the highway was lost to downloading in 1998. The balance of the highway from the Waterloo City Limit to Elmira is now owned by the Regional Municipality of Waterloo, who renamed the road as Waterloo Road 85. In 2005-2006, the Regional Municipality of Waterloo constructed a roundabout at the Waterloo Road 85 and Waterloo Road 17 Junction. This is the first rural roundabout constructed on a former provincial highway in modern times.
Highway 85 is a controlled-access freeway for its entire length. Most parts of the highway are four lanes (two lanes in each direction), but a section of Highway 85 approaching the Highway 7 Interchange in Kitchener is actually eight lanes, configured in a collector-express lane setup. Services are available at almost every interchange along Highway 85. Unless otherwise posted, the speed limit on Highway 85 is 90 km/h (55 mph). Exits along Highway 85 are not numbered, but distances along the highway can be calculated by visiting the Highway 85 Mileage Chart page.
Additional Information About King's Highway 85: