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No access to downtown from York-Bay-Yonge exit during Gardiner ramp rebuild

CityNews | posted Thursday, Feb 9th, 2017

Drivers: If you think you are frustrated with traffic in Toronto right now, you will have a major headache to deal with on the Gardiner Expressway in the spring.

On Wednesday, Mayor John Tory announced that the ramp from the eastbound Gardiner Expressway to York, Bay and Yonge streets will be closed starting on April 17, as construction crews tear down the ramp and move it to Lower Simcoe.

The closure, which is expected to last eight months, will be “disruptive,” Tory said at a news conference at York and Harbour streets on Wednesday. “I’m not going to sugarcoat this.”

The existing ramp at York-Bay-Yonge is being replaced with a shorter ramp to Lower Simcoe Street.

Harbour Street, from Lower Simcoe to Bay streets, will also be widened from three to four lanes, to accommodate traffic flow in the area, Tory said. The expansion should give pedestrians and cyclists better access to the waterfront. View before and after photos below.

City staff and drivers have nicknamed the York-Bay-Yonge ramp the “hot wheels ramp” because “you really do whirl around as you come off the highway,” Tory said.

“We need to get this work done. This off-ramp, like the rest of the Gardiner Expressway, is 50 years old, and it is reaching the end of its life. It is in poor condition.”

The construction will take place from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. each day, but not overnight since condo residents live near the construction zone.

The work is expected to continue until January 2018.

During the construction, drivers will have to exit the eastbound Gardiner at the Jameson Avenue, Spadina Avenue and Jarvis Street ramps. Motorists will also be able to access the eastbound Lake Shore Boulevard from the eastbound Gardiner ramp at Spadina Avenue.

Tory said the ramp removal and rebuilding work is part of the $312 million the city is investing in road and bridge infrastructure, as indicated in the 2017 budget.

On Tuesday, the mayor’s executive committee approved the budget heads to council next week. The $12.3 billion operating budget includes a two per cent property tax increase.

Before and after photos of the Harbour, Lower Simcoe, Bay and York streets redesign

Below is a before and after view of the intersection of Harbour and York streets. The redesign is expected to be completed in early 2018. Click here to view it. Photos courtesy of the City of Toronto.

Below is a before and after view of the west side of Harbour and Simcoe streets. The redesign is expected to be completed in early 2018. Click here to view it. Photos courtesy of the City of Toronto.

Below is a before and after view of the west side of Harbour, Bay and York streets. The redesign is expected to be completed in early 2018. Click here to view it. Photos courtesy of the City of Toronto.

Below is a before and after view of Harbour and Bay streets. The redesign is expected to be completed in early 2018. Click here to view it. Photos courtesy of the City of Toronto.

 

 

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