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Old April 10th, 2013, 05:45 PM   #2381
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TheCat View Post
As was already mentioned, Montreal is a bad example since the freeways in Quebec are indeed in a pretty bad shape and suffer from maintenance issues. A good way to observe this is to drive on the 401 in Ontario eastbound - once you cross the border into Quebec, and the 401 becomes the A20, you almost immediately notice a very significant degradation in quality in most respects, from pavement quality to the length of acceleration/deceleration lanes.
This used to be true, until maybe 5 years ago, but since then a lot of catching up has been done in Quebec and the difference in maintenance isn't as noticeable as it was before.
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Old April 11th, 2013, 03:39 AM   #2382
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Cool video, crappy roads:

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Old April 12th, 2013, 06:27 AM   #2383
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The new Detroit River International Crossing has gotten presidential approval: http://blogs.windsorstar.com/2013/04...ential-permit/

Construction is hoped to start just as the 401 extension winds down. Hopefully there are no more delays but as we all know another curveball could come at any time... probably from Matty Moroun.
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Old April 12th, 2013, 01:52 PM   #2384
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I've read Matty Moroun thinks his bridge has a monopoly of river crossings near Detroit, is that correct?
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Old April 12th, 2013, 02:04 PM   #2385
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Quote:
Originally Posted by I-275westcoastfl View Post
I actually wondered that myself when I went there. I remember for the rural section of the 401 somewhere between Windsor and London there was asphalt paved over the concrete and asphalt patches over where the expansion joints are. Looked pretty crappy considering how nice and clean Canada is.
Geography has always been both a blessing and a curse for a relatively small population. It's a massive financial burden to build/maintain infrastructure over such a big territory. Only Pitcairn Island has more highway per capita than we do. Canadians have twice as much highway per capita as Americans and 7 times as much as the British, for example. Add in a severe continental climate over much of the country and our roads were always going to be a problem area. Canadian highways are very good considering.


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Old April 15th, 2013, 07:32 PM   #2386
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Are there plans for a third bypass of Toronto, or preserving a right-of-way to build one later?

The 401 and 407 are about 8 - 10 kilometers apart. In the meantime, the urban area of Toronto has expanded outward by another 10 kilometers or so, at more or less the same density as the area between the 401 and 407.

I suppose a new toll expressway could start near Burlington on the 407 and follow the 407 about 10 - 15 kilometers out, bypassing Milton, Brampton and Richmond Hill, eventually ending at the 404 or further east if urban growth continues. It could even turn south to the 401 near Whitby, making a 130 kilometer bypass that connects all outer suburbs of Toronto.

Something like this:
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Old April 15th, 2013, 11:45 PM   #2387
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ChrisZwolle View Post
Are there plans for a third bypass of Toronto, or preserving a right-of-way to build one later?

Something like this:
There are plans for what's tentatively called the 413. The route you've drawn out though would run along the ecologically sensitive Oak Ridges Moraine, which is the headwater for most rivers draining into Lakes Ontario and Simcoe. There are plans for a connector highway (the Bradford By-pass) between the 400 and 404 near the top of the map which would be on the north side of the Moraine. On the south side of the Moraine is the 413. The initial section (studied as the GTA West Corridor) running from Vaughan, through Caledon to somewhere between Milton and Guelph.

A segment of Hwy. 6 south of Hwy. 5 (by the 5 at the bottom of the map) to the 403 has already been upgraded to freeway standards and could possibly be the southernmost segment of the 413. There currently is no freeway connection between the 401 and points south between the 407 and the 403.

There are is a planned connector between the 401 and the future extension of the 407 in Whitby, which could also be incorporated into the 413
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Old April 16th, 2013, 02:12 AM   #2388
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There are plans for what's tentatively called the 413. The route you've drawn out though would run along the ecologically sensitive Oak Ridges Moraine, which is the headwater for most rivers draining into Lakes Ontario and Simcoe. There are plans for a connector highway (the Bradford By-pass) between the 400 and 404 near the top of the map which would be on the north side of the Moraine. On the south side of the Moraine is the 413. The initial section (studied as the GTA West Corridor) running from Vaughan, through Caledon to somewhere between Milton and Guelph.

A segment of Hwy. 6 south of Hwy. 5 (by the 5 at the bottom of the map) to the 403 has already been upgraded to freeway standards and could possibly be the southernmost segment of the 413. There currently is no freeway connection between the 401 and points south between the 407 and the 403.

There are is a planned connector between the 401 and the future extension of the 407 in Whitby, which could also be incorporated into the 413
It seems unlikely that Ontario is going to have a highway designated with the number 413.

What is currently on the docket, is a highway that runs west from the 400 somewhere in the vicinity of the King/Vaughan Road leads west around Brampton, and then follows the Winston Churchill Corridor down to meet the 401 at either the 407 interchange or west of Trafalgar.

The GTA west study originally started as a proposal to build a new freeway between Toronto and Guelph, but people didn't like the idea of an additional moraine crossing.

I could see some sections of GTA West getting off the ground in the medium term, but some of it is probably far enough away from being built that its corridor will be further refined in a new study.
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Old April 16th, 2013, 03:15 AM   #2389
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I am currently in Toronto and will go to Dayton, Ohio, tomorrow. Which route would be better:
- via London, Ontario and Detroit, than on I75 to Dayton;
or:
- going back to Buffalo, NY, and than on I90 to Cleveland, I71 to Columbus, and finally on I70 to Dayton;
especially regarding on border crossings?
Thanks in advance.
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Old April 16th, 2013, 03:46 AM   #2390
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^ I'd probably go through Detroit if it were me.
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Old April 16th, 2013, 04:30 AM   #2391
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Thank you for the answer.
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Old April 16th, 2013, 08:32 AM   #2392
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There are four freeway corridors under study near Toronto if I recall:
-Halton-Peel Freeway (Guelph to Brampton)
-Highway 7 (Kitchener to Guelph)
-Brampton Bypass (Innisfil to Newmarket)
-Mid-Peninsula Highway (Fort Erie to Milton, will be tolled)

Current freeways under construction:
-407 East (Brock Road to Simcoe Street, will be tolled)
-401 (new collector lanes from Hurontario Street to Highway 410)

Planned freeways:
-407 East (Simcoe Street to Highway 35/115, will be tolled)
-West Durham Connector (Highway 401 to 407 East, will be tolled)
-East Durham Connector (Highway 401 to 407 East, will be tolled)


Highway 401 has run out of room for expansion in Toronto, but an extra lane or two could eventually be squeezed in with reconstruction projects taking place over the years.
-Highway 407 ETR can't be expanded much either, as the last remaining land for widening is being eaten away or will be soon. At least room was left in the corridor for a future transitway.
-Highway 427 is also starting to choke. It might also be extended north one day...
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Old April 16th, 2013, 03:29 PM   #2393
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As I recall, the 401 has left shoulders for most of its length. Is it possible to turn these into driving lanes as has happened throughout the Los Angeles metropolitan area?

I wonder if Toronto can make a claim for the busiest interchange in the world. I'm thinking the 401 / 427 interchange may be a good contestant.

One thing you notice are the huge industrial / commercial areas in the suburbs of Toronto. This is also reflected in the traffic volumes, which can fluctuate incredibly after a single interchange towards city streets, sometimes it drops or increases by the tens of thousands of vehicles per day, which is not that common for regular exits.
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Old April 16th, 2013, 03:58 PM   #2394
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I figured a map of the GTA West corridor might be more useful than a textual description of the highway.


This is a screen shot from the most up to date PDF on the project website.

@Chris, Much of the 401 does indeed have left side shoulders, but at some locations, particularly underneath structures, an additional lane has already been shoehorned into the left shoulder. This is particularly evident in the west end of Toronto where several sections of Highway 401 have been widened from its original configuration.
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Old April 16th, 2013, 05:29 PM   #2395
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Haljackey View Post
There are four freeway corridors under study near Toronto if I recall:
-Halton-Peel Freeway (Guelph to Brampton)
-Highway 7 (Kitchener to Guelph)
-Brampton Bypass (Innisfil to Newmarket)
-Mid-Peninsula Highway (Fort Erie to Milton, will be tolled)

Current freeways under construction:
-407 East (Brock Road to Simcoe Street, will be tolled)
-401 (new collector lanes from Hurontario Street to Highway 410)

Planned freeways:
-407 East (Simcoe Street to Highway 35/115, will be tolled)
-West Durham Connector (Highway 401 to 407 East, will be tolled)
-East Durham Connector (Highway 401 to 407 East, will be tolled)


Highway 401 has run out of room for expansion in Toronto, but an extra lane or two could eventually be squeezed in with reconstruction projects taking place over the years.
-Highway 407 ETR can't be expanded much either, as the last remaining land for widening is being eaten away or will be soon. At least room was left in the corridor for a future transitway.
-Highway 427 is also starting to choke. It might also be extended north one day...
That should be the BRADFORD bypass, which I thought was supposed to be an east-west connector and not the north-south bypass you've described. It would run across the northern edge of Bradford between the 400 (in West Gwilimbury) to the 404 (in East Gwilimbury). The project has fallen off the Province's list, but the local municipalities have protected the corridor from development in case it is picked up again.



The 427 is on the way to being extended, but the first segment only runs up to the Moraine. The next segment would involve crossing it and the Province is somewhat weary about that. Both York and Peel Regions are vying for the next segment to run through their jurisdiction as the first segment (to Major Mackenzie) ends on the York side of the boundary. York has the narrower crossing of the Moraine, but there are concerns that running in parallel in close proximity to the 400 would simply encourage development between the two highways.
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Old April 16th, 2013, 05:47 PM   #2396
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How big of an obstruction is the Moraine actually? Is it really that important, or is it more because it's the only significant landform in the region? Apparently it's not important enough to stop suburban development in this region, which appears to be developing at a rather fast pace.

It's interesting to see the Toronto area growing this fast, because the American metropolitan areas in the region are stagnating or even declining. What is fueling the growth in this area? As I understand the economic boom in the prairies is based on energy (like Edmonton, Calgary).
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Old April 16th, 2013, 06:06 PM   #2397
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Originally Posted by ChrisZwolle View Post
How big of an obstruction is the Moraine actually? Is it really that important, or is it more because it's the only significant landform in the region? Apparently it's not important enough to stop suburban development in this region, which appears to be developing at a rather fast pace.

It's interesting to see the Toronto area growing this fast, because the American metropolitan areas in the region are stagnating or even declining. What is fueling the growth in this area? As I understand the economic boom in the prairies is based on energy (like Edmonton, Calgary).
Ecologically it's important as it is the source of several waterways in southern Ontario. It's been used to create a greenbelt around the core of the Greater Toronto Area and the Province is trying to curb leapfrogging by encouraging/focusing development within the existing boundaries. It's also probably the last remaining east-west natural corridor in southern Ontario and allows for animal migration.

Development is probably being spurred by Toronto's attraction to immigrants as a place to initially settle. The Federal government has been trying to encourage settlement in other areas, especially for those with skills lacking in those areas like doctors or teachers.

In keeping with highway development, most if not all highway projects within the greenbelt have some sort of transit component whether it be bus-only or HOV lanes or full transit corridors. The work currently being done on the 427 includes bus-only components to allow for connections between the BRT corridor being constructed along the 403 and Eglinton to the Bloor-Danforth subway at Kipling.
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Old April 17th, 2013, 06:58 AM   #2398
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Originally Posted by ChrisZwolle View Post
How big of an obstruction is the Moraine actually? Is it really that important, or is it more because it's the only significant landform in the region? Apparently it's not important enough to stop suburban development in this region, which appears to be developing at a rather fast pace.

It's interesting to see the Toronto area growing this fast, because the American metropolitan areas in the region are stagnating or even declining. What is fueling the growth in this area? As I understand the economic boom in the prairies is based on energy (like Edmonton, Calgary).
To add to what Gil posted, you are correct that US cities in the Great Lakes region are not doing so well. But it's a bit of a misleading comparison. Being in a different country helps a lot. Toronto plays a much different role in Canada than its US neighbours do in the USA. It's a big fish in a much smaller pond. Its economy is very diverse, unlike Detroit, which is basically a one-industy town (cars). All major Canadian financial firms have their head offices in Toronto, it's also the national media and publishing centre, auto manufacturing, airplanes (Bombardier makes the Q400 here), logistics (lots of warehouses in those suburban clusters you noticed above), health care (lots of medical research), technology. No single sector dominates, and all are growing to some extent. It's made for continuous rapid growth (average over 100k/year) since the 1960s. When the 401 was first buit around 1950 it was a rural 2+2 freeway bypass!

Although Toronto has plenty of sprawl, it is more tightly packed than US cities (compared with Chicago for instance). Single family lots are on average smaller, and there are lots of highrise condos even in distant suburbs.

Half the population was born outside North America. An immigrant from almost any country can find a large, established community of his/her own people to plug into. This fact also makes it hard to persuade people to settle in other smaller Canadian cities, where there are lots of jobs but not as large or diverse an immigrant community. For example, Saskatoon, a small city with a booming economy and a severe worker shortage. Most potential immigrants have never heard of it. But they might well have relatives in Toronto already.

The implications of this for roads are: congestion, never-ending construction, and more and more politics regarding where to put new routes, and how to pay for them.
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Old April 17th, 2013, 10:12 AM   #2399
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Thanks for the replies. In terms of economic / population growth and diversity, Toronto indeed resembles more like Houston or Dallas than a U.S. Great Lakes city.
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Old April 17th, 2013, 05:10 PM   #2400
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Thanks for the replies. In terms of economic / population growth and diversity, Toronto indeed resembles more like Houston or Dallas than a U.S. Great Lakes city.
Keep in mind what is the northern reach of the (contiguous) US is the southern reach of Canada, so yes the analogy to Houston or Dallas is somewhat apt. I don't know how much global immigration plays a role in growth in those cities though.
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