Background

  • Original ramp was constructed in 1963 and had reached the end of its useful service life.
  • In July 2016, the City of Toronto began a massive, $30-million project to transform the York/Bay/Yonge waterfront.
  • The project aimed to remove barriers and provide a dynamic place that reconnects people to the waterfront and:
    • support higher volumes of traffic flow between the Gardiner Expressway, the downtown core and the waterfront
    • create an enhanced public realm for the increasing number of pedestrians and cyclists living and working in the area
    • improve public safety by including well-signalized, well-lit intersections and better signage for all users
    • provide new park space (within the York Street ramp site).

The Construction Story

  • Five new piers were constructed underneath the existing ramp prior to demolition so that construction could transition more quickly and smoothly.
  • These piers were constructed with 367 m2 of concrete, the equivalent of the contents of approximately 60 concrete mixer trucks.
  • The bridge segment of the ramp includes new anti-corrosion steel girders that provide approximately four times more protection than that of regular steel, and anti-concrete deterioration technologies.
  • 158 tonnes of steel was used to make 34 new girders, the equivalent amount of steel in 110 mid-size cars.
  • The girders were produced in North Bay and delivered on-demand, overnight to avoid storage challenges and to keep traffic moving.
  • Demolition was completed in eight weeks, while working beside live traffic, with no injuries and only one broken pane of glass.
  • 180 girders were removed representing approximately 1,250 tonnes of steel. Laid end-to-end, the girders would measure over 3 km in length.
  • Rebar was separated from the concrete, and all concrete, steel and asphalt was recycled.

Fixed Automated Anti-icing Spray Technology (FAST)

  • Fixed Automated Anti-icing Spray Technology (FAST) was installed due to the steepness of the new ramp. This is the first time this technology has been used on Toronto roads. Details:
    • A Road Weather Information System (RWIS) Tower that collects real-time meteorological conditions at the ramp.
    • Sensors built into the pavement that detect surface conditions
    • A computer system that analyzes the road and weather conditions data and determines when to spray anti-icing fluid onto the road surface before frost and black ice form.
    • Data informs City staff when it might be necessary to plow the ramp and when there is the possibility of ice formation.
    • Uses potassium acetate, which is cost-effective, biodegradable and less corrosive than salt.
    • Includes 26 spray disks embedded in the pavement along both shoulders.

New Parkland

  • Public consultation is underway for two parks; one at York Street and a new park at 318 Queens Quay W., which is a joint initiative between Waterfront Toronto and the City of Toronto.

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Media contact: Cheryl San Juan, Strategic Communication, 416-392-4391, 416-553-1076 (cell), Cheryl.SanJuan@toronto.ca