Information About the Project: Y-B-Y
Read below for important information regarding the ramp construction process.
Why Is This Work Necessary?
An EA was undertaken in 2009 to determine the feasibility of reconfiguring the eastbound off-ramp from the Gardiner Expressway to York, Bay, and Yonge Streets and assess potential implications and benefits of closing the on-ramp from Bay Street to eastbound Gardiner Expressway. The purpose of the study was to support and enhance pedestrian and park spaces in the area while maintaining acceptable traffic capacity and operations.
The Environmental Assessment Study (2013) recommended:
- removing the long elevated ramp to Bay Street and loop ramp at York Street
- installing a new shorter exit ramp to Harbour Street ending at Lower Simcoe Street
- widening Harbour Street from 3 to 4 lanes from Lower Simcoe to Bay Street
- adding streetscaping elements (pavers, trees) along Harbour Street
- replacing the York ramp loop with redesigned park space. The construction project is part of the Council-approved 2016 Capital Works Program
Why Does the Old Ramp Need to Be Torn Down First?
As much work as possible is being carried out on the new ramp while the existing York-Bay-Yonge exit ramp remains in operation. For example, the foundations of the new ramp were built in 2016 and sewer work on Harbour Street is commencing in February 2017. Refer to Phase 1 construction pictures here.
The deck of the new ramp can only be built once the existing ramp has been removed. The new ramp will feed onto a widened Harbour Street, and Harbour Street can only be widened once the existing ramp has been removed.
So, we have to remove the existing ramp in order to make space for the new ramp and a wider Harbour Street. This will require closing the existing York-Bay-Yonge ramp in mid-April 2017 for the new ramp and street widening to be complete by January 2018.
Which Contractor Has Been Awarded the Contract?
Grascan Construction Ltd. has been awarded the project.
When Will Construction Begin and How Long Will It Take?
Construction will be completed in three phases:
- Phase 1 (Rees Street to Lower Simcoe) – late July 2016 to December 2016
- Phase 2 (Demolition and Construction) – mid April 2017 to January 2018
- Phase 3 (Streetscaping and remaining Harbour Street Improvements) – spring 2018
What Road Closures Can Be Expected During Construction?
Efforts have been made to manage traffic in the area for the safety of workers, road users and residents. Advanced notice about major road closures or restrictions will be communicated to stakeholders, the surrounding community and other road user groups.
Motorists will still have full access to downtown by exiting the eastbound Gardiner Expressway at Jameson Avenue, Spadina Avenue, Jarvis Street.
Motorists exiting the Gardiner Expressway at Spadina Avenue will be able to access Lake Shore Boulevard to travel eastbound. A locked gate along the ramp exit will be opened to allow motorists to move onto Lake Shore Boulevard. Bollards will be placed on Lake Shore Blvd ahead of the locked gate to provide a lane of traffic for motorists to move into. (Northbound/left turn lane at Spadina Avenue will remain open).
Will Any Trees Be Affected by This Work?
Some tree removal will be required in order to accommodate the new off-ramp at Lower Simcoe. Our team has worked closely with Parks, Forestry & Recreation Division, and a project arborist to develop a replanting strategy.
How Will You Manage Dust and Noise?
With any construction project, dust and noise is inevitable. The contractor will be responsible for ensuring the work area is kept cleaned Every effort will be made to reduce inconveniences to the community.
- Demolition work and concrete removal will be loud and disruptive at times.
- Work may take place around the clock in some instances, but the noisiest work will cease by 11 p.m.
- Contractor must control dust.
- Work surfaces to be wetted down to avoid spreading dust.
Will the Work Generate Vibrations?
A vibration assessment has been undertaken for this project. Vibrations may be felt during the demolition work of the YBY ramp, but will not achieve levels that would potentially have an impact on the surrounding community.
Will There Be Overnight Work?
- 7 a.m. to 7 p.m., Monday to Saturday.
- Periods of 24/7 and overnight work may be used to help minimize traffic congestion and shorten overall project duration.
Will the Existing Bike Network Be Maintained During Construction?
The multi-use trail from Rees Street to Bay Street, along the south side of Harbour Street will open in Summer 2018.
Currently, cyclists have access to the multi-use trail on Queens Quay to access Lower Simcoe Street and Bay Street. As well, a dedicated bike box for cyclists has been added on Bay Street for cyclists.
How Can I Stay Informed About Construction Progress?
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What work will be done in Spring 2018?
The contractor will return in spring 2018 to complete the remaining work on Harbour Street. This work was affected by additional sewer work and other construction-related issues. Remaining work will involve: installing permanent sidewalks and pavement markings; permanent traffic control signal installations; final asphalt and new curb from York Street to Bay Street; streetscaping, tree planters and planting new trees and shrubs. The contractor will also complete the installation of the new multi-use trail on the south side of Harbour Street. This work will require lane restrictions in the spring. An update regarding the remaining work will be sent.
What Will Happen to the York Loop's Green Space?
The former site of the looped ramp at York Street, also referred to as the “hot wheels ramp”, will be designated as new parkland and owned by the City of Toronto. After the construction work is complete, new sod will be laid down as a temporary measure. Design for the park will be done by the City’s Parks, Forestry & Recreation Division and Waterfront Toronto. The public consultation on the future design of the park was held on January 22, 2018. The redesign of the park space will take place in 2018. Please visit: www.waterfronttoronto.ca for more information.
As part of the current construction work, you will notice that the concrete deck and top of the columns (known as pier caps) have been removed from the old ramp. The pier columns will remain in place until the design of the new park is finalized, and depending on the final design, the removal of pier columns would be done as part of the future construction of the new park space.