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Old January 27th, 2017, 04:38 AM   #4041
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Hmm. When I was at the age of not being allowed to drive (16years and younger), I always thought those types of landscapes were boring. But after obtaining my basic class D license at 16, and a class A license at 23, I have since always felt its breathtaking viewing and traveling through those landscapes. Just love the ability to see for 10/20/50? miles ahead, from side to side. As opposed to the what I call claustrophobia of thick forested hills of eastern US and viewing nothing but trees on the sides, and maybe a mile or so ahead.
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Old January 27th, 2017, 05:03 AM   #4042
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it's pretty enjoyable but the speed limits really are an aggravation, especially on the divided highways, 100 mph is not fast, but the RCMP will not appreciate it :/

I like driving around in Saskatchewan though, it's pretty pleasant.
Only near Alberta in the southern part does it get kind of "badlands" / desert and maybe somewhat of a dust-bowl atmosphere (sparse population and what you see of people is pretty unimpressive)
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Old January 28th, 2017, 02:46 AM   #4043
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Some news about the impending widening of the 401 between Hespeler and Townline Rd in Cambridge..

http://www.570news.com/2017/01/27/40...million-boost/

Quote:
Local MP’s announced Friday that the Government of Canada will be contributing over $96-million towards the highway expansion project between Townline and Hespeler Road.

The project involves widening the 401 from six to ten lanes between Hespeler and Townline, installing new high occupancy vehicle lanes, and replacing the Hespeler and Franklin Boulevard bridges which sit over the highway.

In a release, officials say the project aims to improve safety and traffic flow through the region, and the high occupancy vehicle lanes aim to promote environmentally-friendly transportation–like carpooling.

According to the Ontario Government’s website, they’re targeting 2021 or 2022 completion date for the stretch between Hespeler and Townline.
The construction is targeted to begin next year. I can't believe it will take 4-5 years to widen 4 km of highway, keeping in mind that Franklin and Hespeler overpasses are supposed to be replaced within this year and perhaps part way through 2018. There are no other bridges to widen that I am aware of.
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Old January 29th, 2017, 10:29 PM   #4044
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cricket_Fan View Post

I can't believe it will take 4-5 years to widen 4 km of highway, keeping in mind that Franklin and Hespeler overpasses are supposed to be replaced within this year and perhaps part way through 2018. There are no other bridges to widen that I am aware of.
Highway 401 is so freaking busy that all existing lanes on this stretch need to be kept open during construction. This vastly complicates the undertaking and inflates the cost and timeline of the project.

Want a shorter term headache? Close down a lane or two or shut down the entire highway. What's that? There's no alternative highway to take? Well, that's poor planning.

If the Highway 7 freeway was done by now it could take a bit of stress off the 401 and allow projects like this to progress faster.
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Old January 29th, 2017, 10:34 PM   #4045
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I'm not sure if it is so necessary
For example the Credit River section of 401 is from six to twelve lanes, and it MUCH more congested than the Cambridge part
And the work is somehow cheaper (81 M$) and faster (2016-2019) (and OK, it's 11% shorter)
https://news.ontario.ca/opo/en/2016/...ssissauga.html
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Old January 29th, 2017, 11:00 PM   #4046
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kanadzie View Post
it's pretty enjoyable but the speed limits really are an aggravation, especially on the divided highways, 100 mph is not fast, but the RCMP will not appreciate it :/

I like driving around in Saskatchewan though, it's pretty pleasant.
Only near Alberta in the southern part does it get kind of "badlands" / desert and maybe somewhat of a dust-bowl atmosphere (sparse population and what you see of people is pretty unimpressive)
I love driving the prairies and especially the Badlands. The locals predictably have little appreciation for it. People cherish what is uncommon. Coming from the east I love arid/semi-arid, people on the prairie get excited over green pastoral farmland.
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Old January 29th, 2017, 11:02 PM   #4047
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ChrisZwolle View Post
Tolling has been proposed to twin multipe stretches of the 100-series highways for some time now.

A viability study has been completed to twin 8 segments of Highways 101, 104 & 107 using tolls.

http://globalnews.ca/news/3198960/to...lier-province/



The only place in Nova Scotia that won't have a problem with it is Halifax. It's one of the least urbanized provinces in Canada. This will make all those towns even less viable than they already are. If they're looking to empty out the countryside at an even quicker pace, this is a good way to do it. The population outside Halifax is already in danger of imploding.
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Old January 29th, 2017, 11:44 PM   #4048
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kanadzie View Post
I'm not sure if it is so necessary
For example the Credit River section of 401 is from six to twelve lanes, and it MUCH more congested than the Cambridge part
And the work is somehow cheaper (81 M$) and faster (2016-2019) (and OK, it's 11% shorter)
https://news.ontario.ca/opo/en/2016/...ssissauga.html
The construction through Cambridge is much more complex than it is for the work in Mississauga.

The widening through Mississauga only has one underpass to be constructed (Fletchers Creek), and one overpass (2nd Line), which will just be a pedestrian bridge.

The 401 through Cambridge, on the other hand, requires four underpasses. Two for the Speed River crossing, and two railway underpasses. The Speed River crossings in particular are complex, as the entire structures are being removed and replaced, including abutments, something that is atypical of most highway widening projects.

It's also easier to stage the construction of collector lanes, then it is for a straight highway widening.
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Old January 30th, 2017, 02:18 AM   #4049
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The new widening between Hespeler and Townline doesn't have the same complexity. They have to replace the Hespeler and Franklin Blvd bridges which should be done by end of this year or sometime into next year.

Also, sorry but I don't understand why they would have to close lanes in order to speed up construction. In Illinois, they are widening at 35-40 km long part of I-90 and they are not closing any lanes. They started 2 years ago and are almost done. On the other hand, we're taking 4 years to widen a 4 km stretch?
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Old January 30th, 2017, 02:36 AM   #4050
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Oh, sorry, I thought you were talking about the current work, not the Hespeler Road to Townline segment.

I don't know why that project will take as long as it will. Certainly there is a benefit to the contractor in allowing for a longer working time, which allows a contractor more flexibility to complete the project, while scheduling work crews for other projects as well, which should lower the cost to the government. Staging the project over more years also allows the government to pay less per annum for the project as well, which certainly can have a benefit to bean counters. The most likely explanation however, is that work on the Hespeler and Franklin Road overpasses will not be undertaken at the same time, which will help to mitigate some of the local traffic issues that may be caused by construction within Cambridge. Certainly I don't think there is much need to expedite the project east of Hespeler Road as the 401 is seldom congested that far to the east.
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Old January 30th, 2017, 09:50 PM   #4051
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If it's to save money then I guess I can live with it. You're right, that portion rarely sees congestion (perhaps in rush hour, but I never drive there during rush hour so I wouldn't know).
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Old February 1st, 2017, 07:32 PM   #4052
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http://barrie.ctvnews.ca/bold-new-pl...rrie-1.3258856

Bold new plan to improve traffic in south Barrie (by constructing a Diverging Diamond at Mapleview Road)



Quote:
The City of Barrie is considering a diverging diamond interchange as a possible solution to traffic problems at Mapleview Drive and Highway 400.
The concept has been proposed by the Ministry of Transportation which has completed a draft plan.
The new interchange means traffic would no longer have to stop when getting onto or off the highway.
“The movements on and off the highway would generally be free flow. The traffic signals would basically work one cycle would be green time in the westbound direction and then the other cycle would be green time in the eastbound direction,” said Ralph Scheunemann, an engineer with the City of Barrie.
There are more than 60 diverging diamond interchanges across the United Sates and one in Calgary.
Officials in Washington State say these interchanges have reduced collisions by 50 per cent.
This interchange is extremely busy as it leads to the main shopping area of Barrie, and is one of the only diamond interchanges in the province. It needs the additional capacity that a diverging diamond provides, though I worry about the pedestrian safety that these interchange designs provide.

If it is as quick as they claim it is though, hopefully it can be built in the next few years.

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Old February 3rd, 2017, 08:48 PM   #4053
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Video of the 401 through the GTA starting in Courtice, and ending at the 400 taken last month in January:

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Old February 3rd, 2017, 11:13 PM   #4054
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Quote:
Originally Posted by isaidso View Post
The only place in Nova Scotia that won't have a problem with it is Halifax. It's one of the least urbanized provinces in Canada. This will make all those towns even less viable than they already are. If they're looking to empty out the countryside at an even quicker pace, this is a good way to do it. The population outside Halifax is already in danger of imploding.
I have to say that I really don't agree with that sentiment. Tolling at a rate of 5 cents per kilometre doesn't seem like a significant tax burden, and if tolling is the difference between building the infrastructure vs. not building the infrastructure, than I'd say tolling it seems like a no brainer.
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Old February 4th, 2017, 10:30 AM   #4055
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C$ 0.05 / kilometer seems fair. It's substantially less than what you pay for a typical toll road in France or Spain (around C$ 0.15 - 0.17 per kilometer).
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Old February 4th, 2017, 03:39 PM   #4056
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Photos of the newly reconstructed westbound lanes of Highway 401 between Tilbury and Chatham:

Westerly view from overtop the 401 from Drake Road overpass:


Easterly view from overtop the 401 from Drake Road overpass. The future median cross-over for the 2017 contract is visible beyond the drain:


Westerly view at the Dillon Road overpass:


Westerly view west of the Bloomfield Road interchange:
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Old February 4th, 2017, 06:39 PM   #4057
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sonysnob View Post
I have to say that I really don't agree with that sentiment. Tolling at a rate of 5 cents per kilometre doesn't seem like a significant tax burden, and if tolling is the difference between building the infrastructure vs. not building the infrastructure, than I'd say tolling it seems like a no brainer.
I'm not sure if the twinning is really worth it, especially for many of the roads they're talking about... e.g. Hwy 103 to Bridgewater always seemed fine to me when I was using it.

If you compare the previous / other toll road in NS, the 104 Cobequid Pass route, the previous road was so windy and congested and dangerous in rugged terrain.

But many of these roads now proposed are rather good quality 2-lane expressways already with good alignments...
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Old February 4th, 2017, 06:40 PM   #4058
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Great pics and video!

I drive the 401 to and from Windsor multiple times a month. It really grinds my gears that this reconstruction is not adding a 3rd lane and median. This was the perfect opportunity to start work on it.

So much freaking truck traffic on this stretch.
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Old February 4th, 2017, 08:10 PM   #4059
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^ I've obviously said my piece on that matter before... but I'll say this -- I'm sure the MTO is getting lots of angry letters about the fact they didn't widen the highway to six lanes.
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Old February 4th, 2017, 08:18 PM   #4060
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I can understand why they're not doing it. Widening to 6 lanes isn't just as simple as filling in the median. I am not sure the median is wide enough across the entire length from Tilbury to London to support 2 lanes, a concrete barrier and shoulders (the current shoulders are nearly non existent on that stretch). They might have also to reconstruct or widen overhead bridges. The traffic isn't nearly enough to justify 6 lanes, though I suppose there's always the argument about trucks.

I am personally looking forward to this entire stretch getting reconstructed -- the road is in terrible shape. There's still no word on parts of the stretch between Chatham and Elgin County.
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