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Roads: Ontario/GTA Highways Discussion

lenaitch

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I looked up the plans - see below. Basically all the houses on the east side of Bayfield south of the 400 are going to go bye-bye. Even with the expropriation though, it still looks like it's going to be a fairly complex replacement process with half of the new bridge built first, traffic shifted onto it, then the remaining half built, as it still partially overlaps with the existing bridge. The Shell gas station on the north side of the 400 is also getting expropriated.

View attachment 440863

Dunlop has just as much if not more expropriation as well, taking out several plazas around the interchange.
Thanks for that. It's going to be a tight job and, as I suspected, no major re-alignment of Bayfield to accommodate a new bridge while the existing is still in service. Bayfield is fairly jammed at the best of time, especially in the summer, so it's going to be a place to avoid.
 

ericmacm

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The RFP for Phase II of the Highway 3 twinning in Essex County has closed. Two teams have been shortlisted - GIP Paving Inc. (formerly Coco Paving Inc. and also the current contractor for Phase I) and Erie Shores Infrastructure Partners. The winning bidder will be announced in spring 2023.
 

Transportfan

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I always thought it was so they can minimize road closures as traffic can use the old bridge while the new one is built. Random guess but it might also be faster as work on the new bridge can start without the old one being demolished.

This offset method is how the Derry Rd. bridge over the 410 was built. Which is odd because there was no preexisting bridge there at all; just an at-grade 2-lane 410. You'd think they'd have just shooflied Derry and build the bridge on the original alignment.
 

kamira51

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Do we have a Bradford Bypass thread?

Slides from the second public meeting showing the preferred alignment are now posted:


The meeting will be tonight at 7pm, if any wish to attend.
It's good to see this project getting close to starting, once it's complete it'll massively benefit Bradford with the removal of trucks traveling through.

I wouldn't be surprised if they end up banning trucks in the downtown core, once the highways built.
 

Haljackey

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Do we have a Bradford Bypass thread?

Slides from the second public meeting showing the preferred alignment are now posted:


The meeting will be tonight at 7pm, if any wish to attend.

So this is to be built as a 4 lane highway by 2031, and widened to 6+2HOV by 2041? I'm sure that's optimistic but if you're going to have construction on a highway before it's even a decade old, the sane thing to do is to build it right initially. I know cost, time, politics come into play sadly but it just seems dumb
 

north-of-anything

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It's good to see this project getting close to starting, once it's complete it'll massively benefit Bradford with the removal of trucks traveling through.

I wouldn't be surprised if they end up banning trucks in the downtown core, once the highways built.
Trucks are already banned between Melbourne and Marshview, except for deliveries.
 

darth_freeman

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So this is to be built as a 4 lane highway by 2031, and widened to 6+2HOV by 2041? I'm sure that's optimistic but if you're going to have construction on a highway before it's even a decade old, the sane thing to do is to build it right initially. I know cost, time, politics come into play sadly but it just seems dumb
Typically those future dates like 2041 are really just a placeholder for "whenever it's needed", based on cost-benefit analyses.

It's definitely not worth it to build 8 lanes now if you can defer that extra cost down the line. The road and bridges, etc. are designed to easily accommodate the future widening with little disruption to traffic, since all the widening is on the inside.
 

ericmacm

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I wanted to speculate a little bit on what the primary focus for highway twinning in Northern Ontario will be once the HWY 400 extension to Sudbury is finished (dates are not clear but the final phases could start as soon as 2025-2026, based on the Northern Highways Program). Fortunately, Connecting the North, the draft Northern Ontario transportation plan, has some information I didn't notice before:

IMG_6981.jpg


The province has highlighted the following potential priority locations for widening (in blue on the map):
  • HWY 11 from somewhere around South River to HWY 17 in North Bay (even though this section is already twinned)
  • HWY 17 from North Bay to HWY 144 east of Sudbury
  • HWY 17 from HWY 144 to somewhere around Webbwood (a small amount of this is already twinned)
  • HWY 144 from HWY 17 to somewhere around Larchwood
  • The remaining section of HWY 11/17 that has yet to be twinned from Thunder Bay through to Nipigon, plus a segment of HWY 11 from Nipigon to somewhere around East McKirdy
From this info, I would guess that twinning HWY 17 between North Bay and Sudbury is most likely going to be the next priority for Northern Ontario after HWY 400, in addition to continuing the remaining work between Thunder Bay and Nipigon. The MTO grading permit controls already exist for bypasses in some locations along HWY 17 between North Bay and Sudbury.

EDIT: Made a mistake with dates.
 
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turini2

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Do we have a Bradford Bypass thread?

Slides from the second public meeting showing the preferred alignment are now posted:


The meeting will be tonight at 7pm, if any wish to attend.
Slide deck was very engineering focused!

Very little about mitigating measures - for example, the Preliminary Landscape Composition Plan (page 80-81) talks about planting and other measures directly adjacent to the highway. Nothing about substantial replacement of landscape, protecting/expanding existing woodland, new green bridges, walking/cycling improvements, downgrading the Bradford roads to lower speeds or improving the streetscape.

As an example from the UK - the Lower Thames Crossing has substantial environmental mitigation proposed. (although at 23km with a 4.2km tunnel, at a cost of $7.7-9.9bn this is a much larger project)
Carbon neutral construction
We’re a pathfinder project that is exploring ways to build the new road with a neutral carbon footprint. We’ll help local suppliers learn new green skills and test and scale up new innovation, including removing diesel from our sites by only using hydrogen and electric plant, and looking at alternatives to carbon-intensive materials such as concrete and steel.
https://nationalhighways.co.uk/our-roads/lower-thames-crossing/environment/
Bigger, better and more connected habitats
We will plant over 1 million trees and create large, well-managed, connected habitats that will help animal and plant life thrive.
Our plans in the area include over 1 million trees, 200% more woodland, 40% more ponds, 50 miles of new hedgerows
https://nationalhighways.co.uk/our-roads/lower-thames-crossing/environment/
Hole Farm – Your future local woodland
In partnership with Forestry England, we’re creating a new community woodland on Hole Farm on Great Warley in Brentwood. The 95-hectare site is being designed to include an education centre, café, tree nursery, and pathways for walkers, cyclists and horse riders.
https://nationalhighways.co.uk/our-roads/lower-thames-crossing/environment/
Almost 40 miles of new pathways to promote active travel
For every 1 mile of new road, we are delivering almost 3 miles of new or improved pathways for walkers, cyclists, and horse riders – almost 40miles in total. These new or improved pathways are designed to encourage active travel and promote health and wellbeing across the region.
https://nationalhighways.co.uk/our-roads/lower-thames-crossing/environment/
Two new public parks
We’re creating two new public parks overlooking the River Thames. Chalk Park will be created around the southern tunnel entrance near Gravesend. Tilbury Fields will be on the northern banks of the River Thames, just west of the northern tunnel entrance in Thurrock.
https://nationalhighways.co.uk/our-roads/lower-thames-crossing/environment/
Green infrastructure
80% of the new road is below ground, or behind cuttings or embankment to lessen its impact Our plans include the longest road tunnel in the UK rather than a bridge to safeguard protected wetlands on the bank of the Thames. Seven new green bridges – including the widest green bridge in Europe – will offer safe and easy ways for people and wildlife to travel between the areas rich network of parks and woodlands. Viaducts will help protect natural flood plains and provide safe routes for local wildlife.
https://nationalhighways.co.uk/our-roads/lower-thames-crossing/environment/
Protecting the local environment
The Thames Estuary is home to beautiful landscapes and rich habitats including protected wetlands, Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty, rivers and woodlands. We’ve chosen the route of the new road and structures carefully to reduce our impact and the enhance the area for people, wildlife and plant life – as we build, and well into future.
 

turini2

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I wanted to speculate a little bit on what the primary focus for highway twinning in Northern Ontario will be once the HWY 400 extension to Sudbury is finished (most likely by 2026-2027 based on the Northern Highways Program). Fortunately, Connecting the North, the draft Northern Ontario transportation plan, has some information I didn't notice before:

The province has highlighted the following potential priority locations for widening (in blue on the map):
  • HWY 11 from somewhere around South River to HWY 17 in North Bay (even though this section is already twinned)
  • HWY 17 from North Bay to HWY 144 east of Sudbury
  • HWY 17 from HWY 144 to somewhere around Webbwood (a small amount of this is already twinned)
  • HWY 144 from HWY 17 to somewhere around Larchwood
  • The remaining section of HWY 11/17 that has yet to be twinned from Thunder Bay through to Nipigon, plus a segment of HWY 11 from Nipigon to somewhere around East McKirdy
From this info, I would guess that twinning HWY 17 between North Bay and Sudbury is most likely going to be the next priority for Northern Ontario after HWY 400, in addition to continuing the remaining work between Thunder Bay and Nipigon. The MTO grading permit controls already exist for bypasses in some locations along HWY 17 between North Bay and Sudbury.
From my brief look at aerials of the area, there's certainly potential for bypasses (even just 2 lane roads) in many locations. That, or junction improvements like roundabouts and stuff for safety!
 

Kitsune

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I wanted to speculate a little bit on what the primary focus for highway twinning in Northern Ontario will be once the HWY 400 extension to Sudbury is finished (dates are not clear but the final phases could start as soon as 2025-2026, based on the Northern Highways Program). Fortunately, Connecting the North, the draft Northern Ontario transportation plan, has some information I didn't notice before:



The province has highlighted the following potential priority locations for widening (in blue on the map):
  • HWY 11 from somewhere around South River to HWY 17 in North Bay (even though this section is already twinned)
  • HWY 17 from North Bay to HWY 144 east of Sudbury
  • HWY 17 from HWY 144 to somewhere around Webbwood (a small amount of this is already twinned)
  • HWY 144 from HWY 17 to somewhere around Larchwood
  • The remaining section of HWY 11/17 that has yet to be twinned from Thunder Bay through to Nipigon, plus a segment of HWY 11 from Nipigon to somewhere around East McKirdy
From this info, I would guess that twinning HWY 17 between North Bay and Sudbury is most likely going to be the next priority for Northern Ontario after HWY 400, in addition to continuing the remaining work between Thunder Bay and Nipigon. The MTO grading permit controls already exist for bypasses in some locations along HWY 17 between North Bay and Sudbury.

EDIT: Made a mistake with dates.

... that section of hwy 11 still has grade crossings still .. so possibly its alluding to grade separating. Its odd that Highway 17 Widening only goes a bit past Hwy 6 though. The 144 widening is odd.. I wonder if its a misplaced line and its really the mythical North East Bypass in Sudbury now that Maley phase 1 is done.
 

north-of-anything

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Very little about mitigating measures - for example, the Preliminary Landscape Composition Plan (page 80-81) talks about planting and other measures directly adjacent to the highway. Nothing about substantial replacement of landscape, protecting/expanding existing woodland, new green bridges, walking/cycling improvements, downgrading the Bradford roads to lower speeds or improving the streetscape.
Bradford West Gwillimbury already has plans in motion for the reconstruction of Holland Street to take advantage of traffic being diverted onto the Bypass. The Environmental Study Report for Holland Street was recently released, and there is no plan to reduce speeds along most of the corridor as it is already only 50 km/h or lower from 10th Sideroad to the Holland River. They are reducing the width of the through lanes from 3.5 meters to 3.3 meters, though. The EA study, and slides from previous PICs, can be found here.

8th Line and 10th Sideroad are also getting overhauls to accommodate future traffic safely.

As for the Bypass itself, I got the flyer in the mail and still missed the PIC, oops. I'm glad that 10th Sideroad will have access in both directions, but not so happy that environmental factors appeared to be given the least weight in every single decision. I mean, does the 2nd Concession really need two carpool lots badly enough to pick the interchange that eats into the most lots? I think having lots at both 10th Sideroad and County Road 4 is overkill as well.
 

lenaitch

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... that section of hwy 11 still has grade crossings still .. so possibly its alluding to grade separating. Its odd that Highway 17 Widening only goes a bit past Hwy 6 though. The 144 widening is odd.. I wonder if its a misplaced line and its really the mythical North East Bypass in Sudbury now that Maley phase 1 is done.
Ya, it's hard to know with hunting down the individual project plans. The scale isn't great but it looks like the Hwy 11 zone starts at Hwy 124. Any intersections that have any amount of volume are already grade separated. Most of the at-grade intersections and really low volume and, off the top of my head, I can't think of any that have a problem of bad sightlines, etc. There was one at-grade that was creating problems at Powassan and it has be changed. I don't get the need for any widening.

Without looking up the numbers, anecdotally, the stretch of 17 between NB and Sudbury sees a fair bit of volume; particularly between North Bay and Sturgeon Falls. Obviously, there would need to be significant realignment to avoid built-up areas, including FNs, which always protracts planning. I believe there are some manner of on-paper plans to build another bypass around North Bay for both 17 and 11 but I don't know where that stands. It would also be highly disruptive.

I've never quite understood why the S/E and S/W Sudbury bypasses were not 4-lane separated from the beginning. I don't quite get widening Hwy 17 past Hwy 6 unless it is part of a long-term plan. As a stand-alone project, I don't see the need. Similarly, Hwy 11 north of Nipigon. There are neither volume, alignment nor grade problems to really justify it.
 

cereal

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Interesting info coming from the Ontario Auditor General Report...
On highways, the audit found the Transportation Ministry deferred six projects in 2019 that had already been given the green light and instead funnelled the money to four highway projects as directed by the minister’s office — “even though these projects were ranked as a lower priority by the ministry’s technical and engineering staff.”

They then added on Highway 413, a proposed 60-kilometre freeway from Milton to Vaughan, and the Bradford Bypass, both widely opposed by environmentalists but cornerstones of Ford’s re-election plan.

About $158 million earmarked for two highway project in northern Ontario was reallocated to other projects in southern Ontario.

“Direction from the minister’s office was inconsistent with the recommendations of the ministry’s subject-matter experts who indicated that they would not have recommended those four projects at that time, and did not have a specific time frame for when they would have recommended them,” the auditor said of plans to widen Highway 401 in Tilbury and work on Highway 3 in nearby Essex and on Highway 17 through Kenora and Arnprior, west of Ottawa.

Those four projects were rated by ministry staff as either medium or low priority and “these four highway projected priorities were communicated to the ministry by government officials primarily through meetings, rather than emails or letters. This left an incomplete record of how these decisions were made, by whom, and why.”

Highway 413 was identified as high priority but kept on the back burner as it requires a federal environmental assessment before moving ahead.


“If approved, the Highway 413 project would become the largest highway project in the infrastructure plan,” the report says.

It's just so sad to read. Politics trumps logic and expertise.
 

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