The successful bidder to design and build phase one of the new Highway 407 East project is expected to be announced in early 2012.

The request for proposals stage closed Nov. 9.

Bids will be evaluated over the next several months by the Ontario Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure Ontario.

The cost of the project will be announced publicly following financial close, expected in spring 2012.

Preparation work for phase one construction will begin later that year.

Phase one of the project is expected to be open to traffic in late 2015.

The new highway will be built in two phases.

Phase one will extend Highway 407 East from Brock Road in Pickering to Harmony Road in Oshawa, connecting it to Highway 401 with a new link.

Phase two will continue the highway eastward to Highway 35/115 and connect it to Highway 401 with a new link by 2020.

Design and construction of phase one of the highway project is expected to create and sustain approximately 13,000 jobs throughout the Greater Toronto Area and Durham Region.

Highway 407 East will be a publicly owned toll road. The province will operate Highway 407 East, establish customer service standards, set toll rates and retain all revenues generated by tolls on the highway.

Infrastructure and Transportation Minister Bob Chiarelli said the project is part of the government’s long-term infrastructure plan called Building Together.

“We’re investing in our highways to provide Ontarians with access to modern, safe and efficient infrastructure.”