Backgrounder: Gardiner Expressway ramp closure, February 8, 2017
February 8, 2017
York/Bay/Yonge Streets ramp replacement and road improvement project
- The City of Toronto is replacing the ramp from the eastbound Gardiner Expressway to York, Bay and Yonge Streets with a shorter ramp to Lower Simcoe Street.
- Originally constructed in 1964, over 50 years ago, the ramp is in poor condition and nearing the end of its service life. The ramp needs to be redesigned to address today’s demands and uses.
- On April 17, the City will begin this work with a full closure of the eastbound ramp from the Gardiner Expressway to York/Bay/Yonge Streets.
- The project will also see Harbour Street widened from three to four lanes of traffic from Lower Simcoe Street to Bay Street.
- In addition, the removal of the York/Bay ramp loop will allow for the redesign of the existing park space east of York Street.
- This project will help to remove barriers and improve pedestrian and cycling access to the Waterfront area – a goal of both the City and Waterfront Toronto.
- The major construction work will continue until January 2018.
- Construction is expected to cost about $30 million.
- This work follows a Municipal Class Environmental Assessment process, in accordance with the Environmental Assessment Act of Ontario.
Construction work details
- Work will occur Monday to Saturday from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. with periods of 24/7 and overnight work when approved by the City.
- Speeding up public sector construction projects to reduce the duration of construction and get projects completed faster is part of the Mayor’s congestion management plan.
- Demolition work and concrete removal will be loud and disruptive at times. The noisiest work has been restricted to regular work hours, similar to the situation with TTC streetcar track work.
- Work may take place around the clock in some instances but the noisiest work will cease at 11 p.m.
Access for vehicles, pedestrians and cyclists
- Eastbound traffic at intersections along Lake Shore Boulevard (Lower Simcoe, York and Bay Streets) will be closed on selected weekends as needed to complete the demolition/removal of the ramp.
- Motorists will still have full access to downtown by exiting the eastbound Gardiner Expressway at the Jameson Avenue, Spadina Avenue and Jarvis Street ramps.
- Motorists will be able to access eastbound Lake Shore Boulevard from the eastbound Gardiner Expressway ramp at Spadina Avenue.
- Eastbound Lake Shore Boulevard/Harbour Street will be reduced to two lanes from Lower Simcoe Street to Bay Street during the construction period.
- The ramp from Rees Street to the expressway will be closed during off-peak hours (9:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.) and will open in peak traffic hours during the demolition/removal stage of the work.
- Drivers are advised to use eastbound and westbound routes south of Queen Street as alternative routes during the construction period.
- The cycling facility on Lake Shore Boulevard West will be closed from Rees Street to Lower Simcoe Street during this project. Cyclists will be detoured around the work area via the Martin Goodman Trail on Queens Quay.
- Sidewalks to remain open at Lower Simcoe and York Streets for north/south travel and north side of Harbour street
- Laneways and driveways that serve businesses will remain accessible for deliveries or service. Pedestrian access to businesses and walkways will be maintained during construction.
- To maintain traffic flow in the area, traffic signal timing on alternative routes will be adjusted to minimize congestion and enhanced signage will be installed to advise motorists of the ongoing work.
- During the construction work, motorists will still have full access to downtown by exiting the eastbound Gardiner Expressway at the Jameson Avenue, Spadina Avenue and Jarvis Street ramps.
- In addition, motorists will be able to access eastbound Lake Shore Boulevard from the eastbound Gardiner Expressway ramp at Spadina Avenue.
Raising awareness about the project
- Information notices have been provided and meetings have taken place with businesses and residents in the area as well as with key stakeholders, including key agencies and organizations, to inform them of this work.
- The City also plans to hold a public meeting this month to provide the public with further information about the project.
- As part of the environmental assessment process, in 2013, the City hosted three public information meetings for the public to view plans and make their suggestions for this project. A pedestrian survey was conducted and a stakeholder urban design charrette also took place during the course of project study.
Media contact: Steve Johnston, Strategic Communications, 416-392-4391, firstname.lastname@example.org