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Old January 23rd, 2009, 06:48 PM   #1261
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Timon91 View Post
They should build bridges in order to make it a year round road, but they shouldn't pave it. It's the best thing to leave it gravel. Just widen it would be enough IMO. If they'd pave it, water would get through the asphalt in summer, but it won't sink into the ground (permafrost), so when it freezes in winter, the water becomes ice and will create big bumps in the pavement. See what happened on the paved parts of the Dalton hwy and on the Elliott highway
This is a question of making the right foundations of the road. A gravel road without proper foundations will work quite well during winter, but will be impassable during spring thaw. What you have to do make sure that you have drainage below the road. This is usually done by laying a thick layer of crushed rock underneath the top layers. Needless to say, this makes road building in northern countries somewhat more expensive than in Australia....
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Old January 23rd, 2009, 07:34 PM   #1262
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Sounds really interesting...
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Old January 24th, 2009, 06:52 AM   #1263
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For whom the bill tolls
Commuters are crying highway robbery about new charges on Highway 407, but there's little the Ontario government can do
10 January 2009
The Globe and Mail

When a private consortium bought Highway 407 in 1999, a one-kilometre trip on the highway cost 10 cents. Soon that same trip will cost close to 45 cents.

Starting Feb. 1, the highway operator, 407 ETR, will introduce a new 25-cent per-use “Trip Toll Charge” to all light vehicles riding the highway.

That charge will be added to the toll rate, which ranges from 18 to 19.85 cents per kilometre, depending on which part of the highway is travelled and at what time.

The new charge, following on a succession of increases over the past 10 years, has led some motorists to cry highway robbery.

“With the amount that we pay with annual increases, it's just become outrageous,” said Carrie Hunter, a working mother of three, who says her 407 bills average $430 a month. “It's my only viable option for getting to work,” said Ms. Hunter, who lives in Uxbridge but commutes to Brampton.

Taking the 401 instead, she said, would double her daily drive from two to four hours. “I don't mind paying a toll, but the rates this company charges are astronomical. … Between the car payments and insurance and gas and $430 a month for a toll highway, you do feel the pinch.”

And that pinch hurts. Since 1999, the toll rate for a light vehicle during peak hours has nearly doubled, while the consumer price index rose about 22 per cent in the same period. And the toll rate isn't the only cost: Along with the new trip charge, there is also the transponder rental, or the $3.60-per-trip “video toll charge” that applies to those without a transponder.

Those fees have done little to win favour with Ontario motorists, 70 per cent of whom oppose toll roads in general, according to a 2007 poll of 2,674 CAA members.

But the company maintains that its newest charge is essential for reducing congestion and ensuring quick travel times for users.

“It's just another lever,” said Steve Spencer, director of communications for 407 ETR. The trip charge targets those who make frequent short trips, he said, noting that “those trips can lead to some congestion.” He also cited a planned investment of $70-million in lane expansions this year.

Some motorists, such as Ms. Hunter, have suggested that the Ontario government should intervene. But since losing a legal battle with 407 ETR in 2006 over the right to raise tolls without restriction, the province has resigned itself to having no jurisdiction over rates.

“The 407 is an independent company and they're within their contractual rights to introduce [higher] toll rates,” said Nicole Lippa-Gasparro, a spokeswoman for Ontario Minister of Transportation James Bradley.

The former Progressive Conservative government sold the highway for $3.1-billion in 1999. At that time, the province said any toll increase would be pegged to the rate of inflation plus 2 per cent for the first 15 years of the 99-year lease. That would have capped the current price at about 14 cents/km in peak hours.

However, an arbiter later determined that such a clause was not in the contract of sale and that 407 ETR had the right to raise tolls as it pleased. Today, the province only retains the right to penalize the company if it does not meet traffic-flow targets.

Despite complaints from some motorists, Hwy 407 is in expansion mode.. The city of Pickering's planning staff recently recommended that city councillors support a proposed 407 extension of approximately 42 kilometres from the town to Highway 35/115. The move would lengthen the highway to approximately 150 kilometres, stretching from Burlington in the west to Clarington in the east.

Mr. Spencer said he could not speculate as to whether the company planned to raise prices again next year.

*****

Smart numbers

108 kilometres: Length of Highway 407

187 million: Number of vehicle-kilometres travelled per month in 2007

308,000: Average number of trips per day in 2007

$60.3-million: Profit reported by 407 International Inc., the sole shareholder of 407 ETR, in 2007.
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Old January 25th, 2009, 06:51 PM   #1264
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Old January 26th, 2009, 08:38 AM   #1265
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Southern Ontario Road Conditions





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Old January 26th, 2009, 03:59 PM   #1266
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Woman, dead 7 years, receives $200 bill for using private highway
Canwest News Service
10 January 2009

An Ontario woman who has been dead for seven years received a bill for almost $200 from the province's privately owned Highway 407 just after Christmas. Clare Ormston, 44, of Brampton died from an asthma attack in 2002. But due to a series of administrative hiccups, her unpaid charges for using the highway in 2002 were not processed until late last year, according to 407 Express Toll Route spokesman Rob Nicol. That is when her husband, Fred, found them waiting in his mailbox. Mr. Nicol said Ms. Ormston had changed her last name from her maiden name, then moved to her husband's current address. After she died, her husband took ownership of her car, whose plates still had outstanding charges from the toll highway. All of the changes prevented a timely delivery of the bill, Mr. Nicol said. Mr. Ormston was reportedly saddened to have received a bill for his late wife. After media contacted the private highway regarding the bill, the balance was dropped.
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Old February 1st, 2009, 08:08 AM   #1267
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Ontario to expand part of Highway 407
TheStar.com
January 28, 2009

The government of Ontario is getting back into the toll highway business, announcing it will own the planned expansion of the privately run Highway 407.

In a surprise move yesterday, Transportation Minister Jim Bradley revealed the extension of the pay-for-use highway from Brock Rd. in Pickering to Highways 35 and 115 in Clarington would be owned and run by the province.

"Clearly, the public agrees that the province of Ontario should own roads in the province of Ontario," Bradley told reporters, noting motorists have been angered by the rising tolls on the private 407ETR.

"The province will control the tolling on the remainder of the highway," he said.

But Bradley had few details on how much it would cost and whether 407 users travelling from the privately run section would have to pay an additional toll when they enter the provincially operated stretch, expected to open in 2013.

"We haven't had a detailed discussion about how the tolling would work," said 407ETR spokesperson Steve Spencer, adding it's still "early."

Bradley said yesterday's announcement coincided with the first in a series of public meetings on the road extension. He insisted there was no intent to bury the news under the avalanche of federal budget coverage yesterday.

The province expects the project to generate 24,000 construction jobs and toll revenues will pay for it.

News that the Liberals will impose their own tolls on what will be a publicly owned highway is a U-turn for Premier Dalton McGuinty.

"I'm personally against tolls, and we're going to make sure we have the kind of financing package in place that eliminates the need for tolls," he said on June 15, 2007. His comments came more than a year after his government lost the last of seven court challenges against 407 International Inc. over toll hikes.

Since taking office in 2003, McGuinty has argued the company, which in 1999 paid $3.1 billion to the Progressive Conservative government for a 99-year lease to run the 407, was violating its contract.

"When you're dealing with big transportation issues, putting something like that in the hands of a private corporation that's only interested in how much money they can make is not going to provide a good public solution," said NDP Leader Howard Hampton.

Progressive Conservative Leader John Tory said the Liberals' long-awaited announcement was politically motivated, given the by-election he's contesting in the area.

Tolls will place an unfair burden on the residents of Durham Region, said Pickering Councillor Rick Johnson, but, "We do need more lanes and we'll take them at whatever the costs.

"We've got to move goods and services, we've got to create jobs for Durham Region," he said.

Drivers, however, have been clear they don't want tolls, said Canadian Automobile Association spokesperson Edyta Zdancewicz, adding the CAA plans to discuss the issue with Queen's Park officials.

For the Geisbergers, it's a good news-bad news scenario.

"We truck our own crops and the 401 is crazy busy so (the extension) is a plus," says Lisa Geisberger. She grows corn, canola, wheat and soy beans with her husband, Rick, on a farm near Bowmanville, about a kilometre from the planned route. "But it's costly using the 407. I don't like the idea of paying more tolls."

While she sees the need for the extension, she won't be happy about being able to "see it and hear it."

Marty Collier of Healthy Transport Consulting, which hosted a conference on tolls, said if you build roads, they'll be tolled.

"The existing roads can accommodate everybody. They just have to be used more efficiently," he said, adding that Ontario should be looking at GPS-based toll systems like those used in the Netherlands.
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Old February 2nd, 2009, 01:34 AM   #1268
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I need to get a transponder. I was hoping to hold off until gas is over $1/liter to save money on fuel, but that highway is a lifesaver when running late.
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Old February 4th, 2009, 10:57 PM   #1269
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407 sure sounds expensive, I'd probably not drive it at all if I was there. I remember 10 years ago, when my family and I were in Toronto, we took that highway once, and then we got a bill a few weeks later after we got back home. We didn't even know it was a toll highway, because back then we just thought that toll booths were necessary...how, the times have changed.
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Old February 6th, 2009, 08:54 PM   #1270
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Tory upset with timing of announcement on eastern extension of Highway 407
29 January 2009
The Globe and Mail

Progressive Conservative Leader John Tory dismissed as “political show business” yesterday, the Liberal government's about-face on its stand on toll highways. The provincial government announced on Tuesday that it would own a new tolled extension of Highway 407 that will run through the provincial riding of Haliburton-Kawartha Lakes-Brock, where Mr. Tory is currently seeking a seat in a by-election.

As late as 2007, the provincial government ruled out new toll roads in the province.

In a phone call from a campaign stop in Lindsay, Ont., Mr. Tory said he did not believe Transportation Minister Jim Bradley's assertion that the announcement and the by-election were unrelated.

“They haven't done a thing on this in the last two years,” Mr. Tory said.

In a press release, he called the timing of the announcement “convenient.” Former Conservative MPP Laurie Scott, who resigned from the seat to let Mr. Tory run, had long called for the extension east to Highway 35/115.

At a press conference, Mr. Bradley denied the link. “I can tell you this has nothing to do with that whatsoever,” he said.

Mr. Tory also slammed the government for not setting a faster timetable for the highway, which he called “a crucial economic infrastructure project” for the area. He said regulation and operation of the project should have been “wide open” to private bids and that the government missed an opportunity to leverage control of the new expansion in exchange for better toll rates on the entire highway.

A spokesperson for 407 ETR, the private company that owns the existing section of the highway, said that the government had not spoken with the company about the expansion and that it was too early to speculate as to whether it would play any role in the new stretch of the road.

Mr. Bradley said the new section of Highway 407, torun from Pickering to Highway 35/115 in Clarington, will be owned by the province and all tolls will flow into its coffers. This is in contrast to the existing Highway 407, which now ends at Brock Road in Pickering. In 1999, the Progressive Conservative government at the time sold the existing portion of the highway to 407 ETR.

Mr. Bradley said members of the public are much more comfortable with the province collecting the tolls rather than a private company.

“We have never been comfortable with the previous setup,” he told reporters. “The public agrees that the Province of Ontario should own the roads. I think they believe as well that we should have a say in the tolls that are charged instead of being arbitrarily [set] by a private company.”

Mr. Bradley said it is difficult to say how much the extension will cost until the government receives construction proposals from potential bidders. He also said that the mechanism for collecting tolls has yet to be discussed.

Region of Durham chairman, Roger Anderson hailed the announcement as “absolutely crucial for growth east of Toronto” and said that he expected the project to generate hundreds of jobs.

With a report from Jennifer Lewington
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Old February 7th, 2009, 03:23 AM   #1271
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Hi, guys.
How about missing freeway link between Quebec and New Brunswick? It should connect Autorute 20 with Brunswick Hwy 2 as replacement for Hwy 158 in Quebec. It would fill gap in freeway between Toronto and Halifax.

Maybe now, when politicians talk about stimulating economy by investing in infrastructure (like Obama), such project would have a chance?

Any news about such link?
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Old February 7th, 2009, 05:42 AM   #1272
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British Columbia: New Port Mann Bridge, Highway 1 Expansion, South Fraser Perimeter Road


Port Mann Bridge
Source: Ministry of Transportation, Government of British Columbia


Port Mann Bridge & South Fraser Perimeter Road (underneath)
Source: Ministry of Transportation, Government of British Columbia

More information about the Port Mann Bridge can be found at the Bridges thread: http://www.skyscrapercity.com/showthread.php?t=802232

Quote:
Port Mann Bridge to be 10 lanes

Premier Gordon Campbell (right) and Transportation and Infrastructure Minister Kevin Falcon officially launch construction of new Port Mann Bridge and unveil the new bridge design.

Photograph by: Glenn Baglo, Vancouver Sun
METRO VANCOUVER -- The provincial government announced today it will build a $2.46 billion 10-lane bridge to replace the aging Port Mann Bridge.

The bridge, which will be built to accommodate rapid bus service and future rapid transit, will be financed by tolls over the 40-year tenure of the contract.

Commuters will pay $3 each way to access the new bridge, although there will be concessions for truckers, bus and taxi drivers, Transport Minister Kevin Falcon said.

The bridge is expected to be built by 2013.

The province had originally planned to twin the Port Mann, but said it would be cheaper to build a new bridge and save on maintenance costs.

The project also includes widening Highway 1, adding two lanes each way on the east side of the bridge and an extra lane in both directions on the west side.

Premier Gordon Campbell said the new bridge over the Fraser River will create 800 jobs and cut commuting time by one-third.

"A single span will clear the bottlenecks that have plagued commuters for years and years," he said.

Falcon said new infrastructure is needed to accommodate another million more people in Metro Vancouver in 20 years.

The capital cost of the project, including upgrades to 37 km of Highway 1 on either side of the bridge, is approximately $2.46 billion, the province said. The total cost, including operating and maintenance, rehabilitation and interest, will be released when the contract is finalized but is expected to be approximately $3.3 billion.

Of that, the province is financing $1.15 billion in the form of a repayable loan, which is beingmatched by bank financing. The proponent is putting forward their own equity to pay for the remaining $1 billion, the release said.

NDP MLA Bruce Ralston said the deal to build a new bridge - at a higher cost - was made after plans were announced to twin the bridge.

"It seems this was negotiated after the contract was awarded," he said, adding other bidders weren't offered the same opportunity.

© Copyright (c) The Vancouver Sun
Additional Images and Renderings

Premier Gordon Campbell's Announcement
Source: Glenn Baglo from the Vancouver Sun


Premier Gordon Campbell
Source: Glenn Baglo from the Vancouver Sun


Existing Port Mann
Source: Glenn Baglo from the Vancouver Sun


Pile Driver, officially starting construction on the Port Mann Bridge
Source: Glenn Baglo from the Vancouver Sun


3D Rendering of existing Port Mann
Source: Screen Grab from the Vancouver Sun


3D Rendering of new Port Mann
Source: Screen Grab from Vancouver Sun


3D Rendering of new Port Mann
Source: Screen Grab from Vancouver Sun


3D Rendering of new Port Mann
Source: Screen Grab from Vancouver Sun


Toll Plaza and Approach to Port Mann
Source: Screen Grab from Vancouver Sun


Toll Plaza and Approach to Port Mann
Source: Screen Grab from Vancouver Sun


RapidBus Service on Port Mann
Source: Screen Grab from Vancouver sun

New Videos from the Ministry of Transportation about Port Mann and SFPR
http://www.th.gov.bc.ca/gateway/info...multimedia.htm
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Old February 7th, 2009, 06:06 AM   #1273
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good to see it.
I'm not impressed with BC's highways, they're tight, narrow..interchanges are completely random and are confusing to navigate if you don't know the area.

And they can get rid of that Pattulo bridge sooner than later too
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Old February 12th, 2009, 08:53 AM   #1274
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That new Port Mann bridge looks awesome. 10 lanes? Is it enough or are there other crossings a little further down?
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Old February 13th, 2009, 02:40 AM   #1275
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There's another bridge that connects downtown Vancouver to North and West Vancouver, but because of its design it is HIGHLY congested (having been on it, I'm talking 'makes the DVP flow like silk' congestion...).
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Old February 13th, 2009, 03:10 AM   #1276
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Electrify View Post
There's another bridge that connects downtown Vancouver to North and West Vancouver, but because of its design it is HIGHLY congested (having been on it, I'm talking 'makes the DVP flow like silk' congestion...).
Isn't that the Lions Gate bridge?

Mike
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Old February 13th, 2009, 05:27 AM   #1277
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Electrify View Post
There's another bridge that connects downtown Vancouver to North and West Vancouver, but because of its design it is HIGHLY congested (having been on it, I'm talking 'makes the DVP flow like silk' congestion...).


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Old February 15th, 2009, 04:14 PM   #1278
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Are there any plans to update that bridge?
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Old February 17th, 2009, 05:09 AM   #1279
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Not at the moment but Vancouver Parks Board estimates the end of the Lions Gate lifetime is 2030. Many Vancouverites over at SSP and SSC believe in a tunnel option... four lanes expandable to six in the future. Really, the Lions Gate for the most part, is one of the better bridges... there are way more in the region that needs more attention. Traffic on the Lions Gate really isn't THAT bad compared to everything else. If there is a tunnel, I would like this bridge dedicated to LRT/transit and pedestrians.
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Old February 18th, 2009, 08:48 AM   #1280
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rick1016 View Post
Are there any plans to update that bridge?
It was "updated" around ~2000 with a new and wider bridge deck replacing the original one from 1938.


Quote:
Originally Posted by go_leafs_go02 View Post
good to see it.
I'm not impressed with BC's highways, they're tight, narrow..interchanges are completely random and are confusing to navigate if you don't know the area.
Trust me, even if you are from here and unless you drive daily to those places, it is still random and confusing. My favourite drive is to Delta from Downtown, which involves about 3 illogical interchanges, very narrow highways which are improperly sloped in turns, and signage which doesn't help at all.
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