News   Jun 14, 2024
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Roads: Ontario/GTA Highways Discussion

It will happen, don’t forget that the province is starting to plan a number of pre-requisite bridge replacements and land acquisitions from Pickering to Brockville for widening.

The Tilbury-Merlin Line work was able to be started so quickly because the Queen’s Line interchange is relatively new and I believe everything was planned already (hence why it is not part of the work packages on the project website). The Union Road-London section is going to see similar benefits when the Colonel Talbot interchange is reconstructed, since that project has already been in the planning process for years.

The remaining section through Chatham and Elgin County will likely not be built as fast since more interchanges need to be replaced. The province has started redesigning the Bloomfield Road interchange as part of the widening project, but this likely won’t get rebuilt for years.

With the exception of Highway 4 and Glanworth overpasses, the rest of the existing overpasses between Tilbury and London are long enough to support a 6 lane config. The median was designed to be filled in one day, so as long as they widen inward they can squeeze 6 lanes under all of them.

Underpass work is going to be trickier, but I think 6 lanes can go in here in most if not all locations. One of the two rail crossings on this stretch is no longer used so you could even demo the existing underpass if you wanted, but that may cost more money than building a third bridge to 'fuse' the existing two together.

The Wonderland Road underpass is new and designed with future widening in mind, but it's annoying they have to rework this so soon after it completed. They should have just made this one support 6 lanes from the start and just block off the extra space until 6 laning was completed.
-You can see the extra long embankment here-:!1sR97oOQ_nOYX4Jqlux0ue1w!2e0!7i13312!8i6656

The extra lane is a bonus after all- the main reason they are doing this is to put in a concrete median to address crossover safety concerns.


In the east, 6 laning would be the main reason, with a concrete median being a bonus. Capacity concerns is the main reason to widen here.
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401 construction as noted in the Metrolinx Toronto East email newsletter.

I'm excited to see this happen. I've driven that stretch of Hwy 11 in the Temagami area a number of times and it really didn't strike me as a problematic profile, but the collision data says otherwise. I couldn't find a final technical design paper but it will be interesting to see if they go with a continuous barrier like some in Europe. That will drive up the cost significantly.
The barrier would be the most important part, or else it’s just a few passing lanes.
True, although essentially continuous passing lanes, just shared between directions. Without turn-arounds, gaps, etc. you complicate access to anything on the other side, and really complicate emergency response, as well as ancillary things like school bus routing. It' like when they ran the box beam down Hwy 11 between Barrie and G'hurst. Obviously, not nearly as densely populated, but it will become an issue if the test proves successful and the concept is expanded. Similarly, it will be interesting to see how they handle bridges. When they installed paved shoulders on Hwy 103/69 (now 400) in Muskoka intended for slower vehicles to pull onto, they ended at the bridges and some of the sight lines weren't great.
I imagine it'll be a central barrier with gaps for driveway accesses / U-turns. This is how BC does a lot of it's 4-laning of the Trans Canada.

Most of the kms with this type of setup will be in pretty remote locations with very limited driveway accesses.
Is that really novel? I remember driving to French River and the highway basically already worked like that, a decade or so ago?
Is that really novel? I remember driving to French River and the highway basically already worked like that, a decade or so ago?
I suppose there is a difference between passing lanes in certain locations and what will essentially be a section of continuous 3-lane highway with alternately shared extra lanes.
Aren’t the non-twinned sections of the A-50 in Quebec setup in a 2+1 configuration?
Aren’t the non-twinned sections of the A-50 in Quebec setup in a 2+1 configuration?
There's no barrier though. That kind of configuration has been around forever ... though much seemed to vanish in the 1970s and 1980s because of how dangerous it was.
Until after the war, this area was very rural. Somewhere I have some topographical maps of the area, and moving west, and it was all very rural, with some mixed housing along the lakeshore and Dundas. A lot of that housing still exists, although in recent years, the pressure to build the 4,000 sq ft stucco box has made an impact.

The early developments were built in a semirural way because "Mississauga" was a township in the boonies and likely never expected to truly urbanize (note the stark contrast between most of Lakeview and Long Branch). They remained that way because it was hard for later developers to acquire the land for true suburban development.