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Roads: Ontario/GTA Highways Discussion

kamira51

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The Ontario Highways program has the next 4-laning part start in "2024-2025" between Highway 529 and the newly completed portion of twinning north of Highway 522. That's about a 20km stretch, so a fairly significant chunk.

Another project to extend the 400 Northwards by 12km towards Shawanaga is also shown as starting in "2024-2025".

This will leave a ~35km gap.

Very good news, I hope they can get it all done soon. I recently drove to Sault ste. Marie the other day and I'm surprised that a large chunk of 17 between it and Sudbury is still two lanes.
 

DirectionNorth

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Very good news, I hope they can get it all done soon. I recently drove to Sault ste. Marie the other day and I'm surprised that a large chunk of 17 between it and Sudbury is still two lanes.
There simply isn't the traffic volume to justify the ~200 km of twinning between the currently twinned sections west of Sudbury and east of the Soo. Nor is there a political benefit, compared to spending on widening the 401 (again) in the 905.

The only section that could use an upgraded road is the SE Bypass and the section between Denlou and Espanola.
 

Steve X

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Very good news, I hope they can get it all done soon. I recently drove to Sault ste. Marie the other day and I'm surprised that a large chunk of 17 between it and Sudbury is still two lanes.
Good news but they should really just finish this before the end of the decade. It’s been way too long. The whole project started in the 90s and it’s taking 40 years to build ~225km of 4 lane highway. If they can’t even get this 82km gap done by 2030, it’s total joke.

At least Quebec didn’t take this long to twin the A-85 but it’s less than 100km.
 

lenaitch

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Good news but they should really just finish this before the end of the decade. It’s been way too long. The whole project started in the 90s and it’s taking 40 years to build ~225km of 4 lane highway. If they can’t even get this 82km gap done by 2030, it’s total joke.

At least Quebec didn’t take this long to twin the A-85 but it’s less than 100km.
I think we're discussing two different things. Yes, the twinning of 69 is taking a long time, but there is only so much tax dollars to go around unless residents are willing to contribute more. An unprecedented buttload of provincial money is being spent on GTA transit, as well as Hwy 401 improvements, Hwy 11/17 in the TBay area, etc. etc. Not apologizing for this or any other government, but there is only so much that can get done at any one time. There also might be limits to contractors that can take on this scale of project.

Every time the MTO, Hydro One, or anybody else, wishes to impact on FN lands, or even in their 'traditional territory', it becomes a tripartite land claims issue where other issues are often added into the mix, and can become quite protracted. I think from Parry Sound to Sudbury they have to deal with four.

As for Hwy 17 between Sudbury and SSM, I agree that traffic volumes, and perhaps even the collision data, hardly justify twinning. They added a number of passing lanes years back. Anecdotally, I think both the SW and SE Sudbury bypasses justify 4-laning based on observed traffic volumes.
 

innsertnamehere

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While it would be nice to connect Sudbury to the 400 series highway network and improve access to Northern Ontario, it's really not needed from a traffic standpoint. 69 has probably half the traffic volume needed to even approach requiring a 4-laning. MTO understandably doesn't really prioritize it. Gotta make sure that there is always a part that is under construction to make it clear that progress is getting made, but that's about it.
 

Steve X

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I know it’s not a priority for twining highway 69. However of they never finish this, they will never start on the next project like upgrading the North Bay 11/17 to a freeway.
 

Kitsune

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While it would be nice to connect Sudbury to the 400 series highway network and improve access to Northern Ontario, it's really not needed from a traffic standpoint. 69 has probably half the traffic volume needed to even approach requiring a 4-laning. MTO understandably doesn't really prioritize it. Gotta make sure that there is always a part that is under construction to make it clear that progress is getting made, but that's about it.

The issue with 69 is the truck traffic on a highway designed in the 40s/50s .. with a small section of that bypassed in the 70s...... and the fact highway 11 was twinned upto North Bay. Where the MTO is over doing it is with all the interchanges. Really should be grade intersections imo.
 

ShonTron

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The issue with 69 is the truck traffic on a highway designed in the 40s/50s .. with a small section of that bypassed in the 70s...... and the fact highway 11 was twinned upto North Bay. Where the MTO is over doing it is with all the interchanges. Really should be grade intersections imo.

I can’t help but agree. Highway 11 has several stretches with at-grade intersections at low traffic crossroads. There are several interchanges on 69 that didn’t need the grade separation – Crooked Lake Road being a prime example.
 

lenaitch

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I can’t help but agree. Highway 11 has several stretches with at-grade intersections at low traffic crossroads. There are several interchanges on 69 that didn’t need the grade separation – Crooked Lake Road being a prime example.
I suppose it comes with the '400-series' designation and the standards that come with it. Perhaps it's our version of 'Interstate envy'; lots of fully separated interchanges in the boonies down there. The one problem with at-grade intersections on high-speed divided highways is you need really good acceleration and deceleration lanes, and sightlines, for vehicles entering/exiting from/to the left. Another is a low volume intersection can change if the 'off highway' use changes. The at-grade intersection at Port Sydney on Hwy 11 is apparently becoming problematic.

Are there any plans to get rid of the atrocious at grade ramps on the 400 at Canal?

A much earlier post, somewhere, said that it will be closed when lanes are added to the 400, which can't happen until all the bridge work is done.. Not sure I'd call it "atrocious" but it does seem to be quite the anomaly and I'm surprised it has survived this long.
 

innsertnamehere

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the 400 Canal Rd "interchange" is going to close when they begin work on replacing the North Canal bridges, which are currently scheduled to be replaced starting next summer. So it's not long for this world.
 

ShonTron

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I suppose it comes with the '400-series' designation and the standards that come with it. Perhaps it's our version of 'Interstate envy'; lots of fully separated interchanges in the boonies down there. The one problem with at-grade intersections on high-speed divided highways is you need really good acceleration and deceleration lanes, and sightlines, for vehicles entering/exiting from/to the left. Another is a low volume intersection can change if the 'off highway' use changes. The at-grade intersection at Port Sydney on Hwy 11 is apparently becoming problematic.

That part of Highway 11 was twinned in the early 1980s – I remember when the Highway 141 intersection to the north was at grade too. The newer twinning north of Huntsville seems to get the balance better, though one intersection near Powassan had to be converted to RIRO-only.
 

Kitsune

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Are there any plans to get rid of the atrocious at grade ramps on the 400 at Canal?

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heres the offical plans ... seems they are going to outright eliminate them... with no replacements. Interesting... http://hwy400ncanalbridges.ca/docs
 

gweed123

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I suppose it comes with the '400-series' designation and the standards that come with it. Perhaps it's our version of 'Interstate envy'; lots of fully separated interchanges in the boonies down there. The one problem with at-grade intersections on high-speed divided highways is you need really good acceleration and deceleration lanes, and sightlines, for vehicles entering/exiting from/to the left. Another is a low volume intersection can change if the 'off highway' use changes. The at-grade intersection at Port Sydney on Hwy 11 is apparently becoming problematic.
The 'interstate envy' sentiment I think is quite real. However, it's puzzling that even super low volume side roads need to be grade-separated as part of the 400-series standard. There are even some sections of interstates in multiple states where farming roads have at-grade access to the interstate. This section of I-15 in California near the Nevada border is a good example, or this section of I-40 in West Texas.

Personally, I think the MTO needs a separate standard for 400-series highways in northern areas, where limited at-grade access points are permitted at very low volume roads. If the RIRO section of Hwy 11 north of the 400/11 interchange ever gets upgraded, I think it would make sense to give that entire highway between the 400 and North Bay a 400-series designation.

EDIT: Gah! Google Maps and its weird way of not updating a URL. Fixed to show the actual locations.
 
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