10:00 p.m., Feb. 14)
widening, light rail will try commuters' patience
By Fred Sherwin
end commuters may want to enroll in anger management classes
now, or better yet buy shares in the makers of Excedrin
or some other headache remedy -- they're gonna need it.
Ontario Ministry of Transport rolled out their plans to
widen the eastern section of the Queensway on Monday,
and two things jumped out immediately; first, the job
will take three years to complete; and second, even when
the work is completed, commuters will have to suffer through
another two years of disruptions while the transitway
is converted to light rail.
on the $220 million project will begin this summer with
the expansion of the pilings under Hurdman's Bridge which
crosses the Ottawa River. The pilings need be to widened
in order for the bridge to be widened from six lanes to
Queensway widening will require the replacement or rehabilitiation
of seven bridges and overpasses. The work itself will
be done in two phases. During Phase 1, from the summer
of 2012 to the summer of 2014, crews will work on the
outside lanes of the Queensway. During Phase 2, from the
fall of 2014 to the summer of 2015, they will work on
the inside lanes and the median.
closures will be in effect through the duration of the
project, however, they will be limited to off peak hours
wherever and whenever possible. The Queensway will also
be closed during the rapid bridge replacement at the Vanier
Parkway, Lees Avenue and Belfast Road.
particular note, Hwy. 174 eastbound through the split
will be reduced to just a single lane for up to five months
during the summer of 2013, while construction crews build
a dedicated off-ramp for St. Laurent Blvd.
order to avoid congestion, commuters will be able to exit
Hwy. 174 at Blair Road and take either Ogilvie Road to
the Vanier Parkway, or Montreal Road downtown.
when the dedicated off ramp is finished and the two eastbound
thru lanes are reopend, one of the lanes will be reserved
for buses while the transitway is converted to light rail.
measures include the permanent closure of the southeast
St. Laurent Blvd. on ramp except for transit service and
emergency vehicle use. In other words, commuters driving
north along At. Laurent Blvd. will no longer be able to
access Hwy. 417 eastbond.
eastbound on-ramp from Lees Avenue will also be closed
for three years from the fall of 2012 to the fall of 2015,
and the Lees Avenue overpass will be closed for the better
part of 12 weeks during the summer of 2014 to allow work
crews to prepare the bridge for replacement.
distruptions and potential headaches are a necessary evil
in order to fix the split and widen the Queensway, which
will be needed to alleviate the inevitable traffic congestion
that will exist during the light rail project until the
fall of 2017.
they eventually get around to converting the section of
the transitway from St. Laurent Blvd. to Blair Road, transit
service will be diverted to Hwy. 174. The eastbound buses
will use the extra lane that will be created once the
dedicated off-ramp for St. Laurent is opened, and a temporary
bus only lane will be added westbound through the split.
later will require the closure of the on-ramp from Hwy.
417 westbound to Hwy. 174 eastbound for up to three years.
Commuters trying to get to Orléans from westbound
Hwy. 417 will have to exit at Innes Road and either take
Innes into Orléans, or access Hwy. 174 at Blair
more information residents can visit www.queenswayexpansioneast.ca
where they have detailed maps and an over view of the
story was made possible thanks to the generous support
of our local business partners.)
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