The replacement of the Gardiner Expressway's Yonge-Bay-York off-ramps nears completion in Toronto's South Core area. Replacing the ramps that touched down at York and Bay Streets, the new 215-metre-long ramp will soon carry traffic off of the elevated expressway, touching down at Lower Simcoe Street.

Gardiner Expressway, Yonge-Bay-York off-ramp, Lower Simcoe, Harbour StreetNew ramp touching down at Lower Simcoe Street, image by Forum contributor drum118

We last checked in on the ramp's construction in mid-September when forming had just wrapped up on the ramp's elevated connection with the Gardiner. In the weeks since, two large retaining walls were installed to contain fill for the lowest section of the ramp, and were subsequently filled, with a concrete road surface being poured after that. One of the next steps will be the first installation of an automated de-icing systemm on a City of Toronto road, allowing vehicles to safely negotiate the ramp's steep grade, even during the most unforgiving of winter conditions. To accelerate the remaining work on the new ramp, the City will be closing Lower Simcoe between Harbour Street and Queens Quay West from this evening (October 30th) until the morning of Thursday, November 2nd.

Gardiner Expressway, Yonge-Bay-York off-ramp, Lower Simcoe, Harbour StreetNew ramp touching down at Lower Simcoe Street, image by Forum contributor drum118

With work on the new ramp nearing completion, the City has released a time-lapse video that shows how demolition of the old ramps was carried out. Following preliminary work in early 2017, the actual teardown work commenced this past spring at the ramp's west end where it diverged from the Gardiner Expressway. The video shows the west-to-east progression of demolition, with the removal of the concrete road surface followed by the demolition of the structural steel road decks and supporting concrete bents. 

Another of the remaining project elements is the widening and enhancement of Harbour Street, which has been underway for several weeks now. Partial traffic has resumed on two lanes of Harbour, while a row of silva cells have been installed south of it to provide space for the roots of new trees to grow without the soil around them being subject to compaction.

Gardiner Expressway, Yonge-Bay-York off-ramp, Lower Simcoe, Harbour StreetSilva Cell installation on Harbour Street, image by Forum contributor drum118

We will keep you updated as the project progresses. In the meantime, you can see plenty of renderings of the completed project by checking out our database file, linked below. Want to share your thoughts? Leave a comment on this page, or add your voice to the ongoing conversation in our associated Forum thread.