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Roads: Ontario/GTA Highways Discussion

ShonTron

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There are actually quite a few municipal freeways in the province:

Gardiner
DVP
Allen Road
Red Hill Valley Parkway (Hamilton)
Lincoln Alexander Parkway (Hamilton)
E.C. ROW Expressway (Windsor)
Highway 174 (ottawa)
Highway 420 in Niagara Falls is also partially a municipal road even though it is a sort of half-freeway, was once a provincial highway, and serves as the direct connection to a major international bridge.

Freeways that aren't elevated aren't exactly unbelievably expensive to maintain. For example I believe the DVP has a maintenance budget of $300 million for the next 30 years - that's only $10 million/year for a major artery, and one that is at end of life too and runs through a complicated urban environment. More "standard" highways like the Linc will probably have essentially negligible maintenance costs over the long term.

I could see Ford uploading the DVP and Gardiner so that he can institute a widening program - perhaps with leaving the elevated portion of the Gardiner in municipal control.
Also, Highbury Avenue in London, which is a semi-freeway (two interchanges) that was the only part of an unbuilt system there. Highbury Avenue was once Highway 126.
 

muller877

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There are actually quite a few municipal freeways in the province:

Gardiner
DVP
Allen Road
Red Hill Valley Parkway (Hamilton)
Lincoln Alexander Parkway (Hamilton)
E.C. ROW Expressway (Windsor)
Highway 174 (ottawa)
Highway 420 in Niagara Falls is also partially a municipal road even though it is a sort of half-freeway, was once a provincial highway, and serves as the direct connection to a major international bridge.
Also, Highbury Avenue in London, which is a semi-freeway (two interchanges) that was the only part of an unbuilt system there. Highbury Avenue was once Highway 126.
KW is very fortunate most of their freeways are provincially owned.
- Hwy 7 from Baden to Victoria St.
- Hwy 8 from the 401 to Hwy 7 (plus running concurrently with Hwy 7 to Baden).
- Hwy 85 from Victoria St to the Conestogo River
(from there to the St Jacobs roundabout i guess it technically is a 2 lane restricted access road owned by the municipality)

They were never downloaded as each road plays an important part in getting to the towns north & west of KW.
 

ShonTron

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I was recently in Northwestern Ontario. Highway 17 through White River is really quiet. It's easy to cross on foot, and I don't think twinning between Sault Ste. Marie and Nipigon will every be necessary. It's really pretty, though.

Here are two photos of the completed Nipigon River Bridge. About a third of Highway 17 is now twinned between Thunder Bay and Nipigon, with only one interchange (on the north end of Thunder Bay). Though the twinned section of Highway 11 south of North Bay also has many at-grade intersections and a 100 km/h speed limit, the twinned sections of Highway 17 are 90 km/h, the same as two-lane sections.
IMG_2905-001.JPG
IMG_2956-001.JPG
 

Streety McCarface

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KW is very fortunate most of their freeways are provincially owned.
- Hwy 7 from Baden to Victoria St.
- Hwy 8 from the 401 to Hwy 7 (plus running concurrently with Hwy 7 to Baden).
- Hwy 85 from Victoria St to the Conestogo River
(from there to the St Jacobs roundabout i guess it technically is a 2 lane restricted access road owned by the municipality)

They were never downloaded as each road plays an important part in getting to the towns north & west of KW.
But it doesn't really allow for much-needed extensions to Elmira and Guelph, which either aren't considered or have been put off for years. They also haven't fixed the stupid interchange between the 401 and King St Bypass, which is a huge pain for anyone travelling to London, Windsor, Detroit, Port Huron/Sarnia, etc. They still haven't made highway 6 between Guelph and Burlington a full controlled-access highway, which really doesn't make sense as a whole.
 

innsertnamehere

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This will happen the same time they make highway 11 between Barrie and Gravenhurst a full controlled-access highway - never.
MTO has at least completed the EA for Barrie-Gravenhurst... 6 has no long range plans. MTO has plans for the Morriston Bypass and the new interchange at Highway 5, and that's about it.

I could see it getting upgraded to a RIRO at some point, but a full freeway is unlikely.
 

ericmacm

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There are actually quite a few municipal freeways in the province:

Gardiner
DVP
Allen Road
Red Hill Valley Parkway (Hamilton)
Lincoln Alexander Parkway (Hamilton)
E.C. ROW Expressway (Windsor)
Highway 174 (ottawa)
Highway 420 in Niagara Falls is also partially a municipal road even though it is a sort of half-freeway, was once a provincial highway, and serves as the direct connection to a major international bridge.

Freeways that aren't elevated aren't exactly unbelievably expensive to maintain. For example I believe the DVP has a maintenance budget of $300 million for the next 30 years - that's only $10 million/year for a major artery, and one that is at end of life too and runs through a complicated urban environment. More "standard" highways like the Linc will probably have essentially negligible maintenance costs over the long term.

I could see Ford uploading the DVP and Gardiner so that he can institute a widening program - perhaps with leaving the elevated portion of the Gardiner in municipal control.
I'd love to see E.C. Row get uploaded. It is easily the worst municipal freeway I've ever seen in Ontario, with incredibly poor signage and road quality for most of the route, save for the small eastern section of the highway that was upgraded to meet with the 401.
 

lenaitch

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I was recently in Northwestern Ontario. Highway 17 through White River is really quiet. It's easy to cross on foot, and I don't think twinning between Sault Ste. Marie and Nipigon will every be necessary. It's really pretty, though.

Here are two photos of the completed Nipigon River Bridge. About a third of Highway 17 is now twinned between Thunder Bay and Nipigon, with only one interchange (on the north end of Thunder Bay). Though the twinned section of Highway 11 south of North Bay also has many at-grade intersections and a 100 km/h speed limit, the twinned sections of Highway 17 are 90 km/h, the same as two-lane sections. View attachment 198857View attachment 198858
Nice to see the second span completed. At least it didn't go 'sproing' like the first one.

Neither of the northern highway routes have ever justified twinning based on traffic volumes (under 2k AADT). Most locations could safely stage a dance along the centre line.

Soo - Wawa and Marathon - TBay; prettiest stretches of road in the province. Used to live and work up there.
 

Haljackey

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I'd love to see E.C. Row get uploaded. It is easily the worst municipal freeway I've ever seen in Ontario, with incredibly poor signage and road quality for most of the route, save for the small eastern section of the highway that was upgraded to meet with the 401.
Hey, at least Windsor and K/W have freeways. As a Londoner, very jealous of the major cities around us that got them while London got screwed (although this was mostly London's fault). Same goes for Kitchener's LRT... we shot ourselves in the foot for a similar project.

London pays for the infrastructure of other cities because we don't want it ourselves :p

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And yes, I lothe getting to/from Kitchener from London. No direct ramps from Highway 401 to 8 makes me travel through big-box-barf congestion on King St.
 

Streety McCarface

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Hey, at least Windsor and K/W have freeways. As a Londoner, very jealous of the major cities around us that got them while London got screwed (although this was mostly London's fault). Same goes for Kitchener's LRT... we shot ourselves in the foot for a similar project.

London pays for the infrastructure of other cities because we don't want it ourselves :p

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And yes, I lothe getting to/from Kitchener from London. No direct ramps from Highway 401 to 8 makes me travel through big-box-barf congestion on King St.
At least there's a Costco.
 

muller877

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Hey, at least Windsor and K/W have freeways. As a Londoner, very jealous of the major cities around us that got them while London got screwed (although this was mostly London's fault). Same goes for Kitchener's LRT... we shot ourselves in the foot for a similar project.

London pays for the infrastructure of other cities because we don't want it ourselves :p

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And yes, I lothe getting to/from Kitchener from London. No direct ramps from Highway 401 to 8 makes me travel through big-box-barf congestion on King St.
When the 401 was built there was a political decision to bring it south of Woodstock and London. Don't know why...if there was a hope that Hwy 7/8 would eventually also be a freeway or St Thomas had political might. Does anyone know on this forum?

To go to Waterloo the back roads are often quicker than the 401. Kitchener...good luck! "Big-box-barf" leaving London and coming into Kitchener.
 

ericmacm

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Hey, at least Windsor and K/W have freeways. As a Londoner, very jealous of the major cities around us that got them while London got screwed (although this was mostly London's fault). Same goes for Kitchener's LRT... we shot ourselves in the foot for a similar project.

London pays for the infrastructure of other cities because we don't want it ourselves :p

-----

And yes, I lothe getting to/from Kitchener from London. No direct ramps from Highway 401 to 8 makes me travel through big-box-barf congestion on King St.
Totally agree about London. I'm actually impressed how big London has gotten without having some sort of expressway going through the city. It certainly makes it very difficult to enter/leave London, it can take forever to get from the 401 to the core.

I have heard about London's plans to upgrade Veteran's Memorial Parkway to a full expressway all the way over to the airport, although who knows how long that will take to conplete.
 

W. K. Lis

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From link.

On April 1, 1997, and January 1, 1998, the Ontario government under the leadership of Mike Harris transferred, or downloaded, several thousand kilometres of provincially maintained highways to the various municipalities in which they are located. These transfers were performed under the reasoning that they served a mostly local function, as a cost-saving measure and as part of a broader exchange of responsibilities between the province and its municipalities. The transfers continue to cause confusion to motorists due to gaps in the middle of several highways and unremoved reassurance markers in municipalities with former Connecting Link agreements, including Toronto, Ottawa and London.​
1,767.6 kilometres (1,098.3 mi) of highway was removed from the King's Highway system on April 1, 1997. This was followed by 3,211.1 kilometres (1,995.3 mi) on January 1, 1998, for a total of 4,978.7 kilometres (3,093.6 mi).
 

muller877

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I have heard about London's plans to upgrade Veteran's Memorial Parkway to a full expressway all the way over to the airport, although who knows how long that will take to conplete.
Hwy 100 was built like the Hanlon with the abilty to covert it to a full freeway in the future.
In the 90's it was downloaded and I think there was a regional number assigned to it (and locally called Airport Road)
Stopped being a connector road at some point
The city then widened it to 4 lanes...still with the ability to make it a freeway at some point.
Then they renamed it Veteran's Memorial Parkway .

There are still thoughts that this highway can loop just south of Arva side road and then meet the 402. But a pipe dream and I don't think they have even started an EA or land purchases.
 
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