January 29, 2018
Mayor John Tory was joined by Councillor Jaye Robinson (Ward 25 Don Valley West), Chair of the City of Toronto's Public Works and Infrastructure Committee, to announce the opening of the new eastbound York/Bay/Yonge ramp from the Gardiner Expressway to Lower Simcoe Street and Harbour Street on Sunday.
The project began in 2016 with the construction of the new ramp foundation and substructure. In April 2017, the existing ramp was closed and demolished while construction of the new ramp continued. The project includes a new, shorter ramp to provide access to the waterfront, Harbour Street widened from three to four lanes between Lower Simcoe and Bay Streets, and a dedicated multi-use trail to improve pedestrian and cyclist access to the waterfront.
"This ramp was completed on time, despite encountering severe problems with a storm sewer on Harbour Street and an early winter," said Mayor Tory. "Investing in Toronto's infrastructure is the only way to ease congestion and to keep traffic moving. The demolition of the old ramp has transformed the area and has improved access to the waterfront."
The new ramp exits at Lower Simcoe Street and provides motorists with improved access to Lower Simcoe, York, Bay and Yonge Streets. An animation of how traffic will flow in the area is available at https://youtu.be/NcBi0ZkBaqI.
"This new ramp is part of a larger plan to restore the Gardiner and creates better access to the downtown core and waterfront,” said Councillor Robinson. “The demolition of the old ramp also freed up land for a new park in the area, which is great for the city."
This $30-million project was part of a larger $700-million investment made in 2017 by the City to renew aging infrastructure with an estimated expenditure of $310 million for roads and bridges, $310 million for sewers and watermains, and $70 million for basement flooding protection work.
The new ramp is steeper than the previous ramp and uses an automated anti-icing spray technology. This system is being used for the first time in Toronto but has been used by the Ministry of Transportation in the past to reduce collisions. The system will rely on weather and road condition data to determine when to apply a biodegradable, potassium acetate solution to the ramp surface to prevent ice formation.
The design of the new ramp creates space for new parkland. A public consultation process is underway for this joint initiative between Waterfront Toronto and the City's Parks, Forestry and Recreation division.
Completion of the final aspects of the project will begin in the spring when weather is more favourable and will include permanent traffic signals, a new curb on the north side of Harbour Street between York and Bay Streets, installation of a multi-use trail on the south side of Harbour Street, the final top coat of asphalt on Harbour Street between Lower Simcoe and Bay Streets, and installation of planters and streetscape elements on Harbour Street.
More information about this project is available at http://www.toronto.ca/simcoe-ramp.
This news release is also available on the City's website: http://bit.ly/2njHK7f
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