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Highway 401 Widening - Highway 8 to Hespeler Road
Do you think it's a money thing? Like, is it somehow cheaper to do this more slowly (fewer workers)?

I don't even remember - when is all of this widening scheduled to wrap up? And when does the "second phase" up to Franklin start? Really, this is going to be a mess until that's also complete.
For daily ion construction updates, photos and general urban rail news, follow me on twitter! @Canardiain
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(06-06-2017, 07:27 PM)danbrotherston Wrote:
(06-06-2017, 07:15 PM)p2ee Wrote: I have a feeling MTO wants to avoid reducing lanes on the 401 as much as possible, but you're right it'd make more sense to reduce a lane westbound than eastbound (and currently they have it backwards).

One thing that is somewhat shocking about this project is that they're taking 5 years to widen 4 kms of highway.  Down in Chicago, they're in the process of widening (maybe they're already done?) about 40 kms of I-90 from 6 lanes to 10.  That highway is just as busy (maybe even slightly more) and they have similar climate as us.  And their timeline is about 2.5 years.  Some people have mentioned the replacement of speed river bridges as the reason, but in the I-90 project they're also replacing the bridge over Fox river, which seems to be about as wide as grand river (google street view here).  

And there's an obvious pattern here.. 4 years to add 2.5 km of express-collector in Mississauga back in 2010-2013 and another 4 years to add another 2.5 km of express collector currently under construction.

I'm quite certain they weren't widening 40 km, that would be the entire length of the highway through the city, perhaps, 40 lane kms (10 kms total), even 10 kms would be quite impressive in 2.5 years, I question if that's the entire project.  The 5 year timeline here, includes rebuilding number of bridges before any apparent work starts.

It is in fact 40 km (25 miles) in the northwestern suburban area of Chicago, but it appears to be 8 lanes instead of 10 (my bad).  They're also reconfiguring several interchanges.  Source:
http://hoffmanestates.org/government/dev...nstruction

The replacement of the Fountain Street and Speedsville Rd bridges was done prior to when the construction began in 2015. 

(06-06-2017, 07:28 PM)Canard Wrote: Do you think it's a money thing?  Like, is it somehow cheaper to do this more slowly (fewer workers)?

I don't even remember - when is all of this widening scheduled to wrap up?  And when does the "second phase" up to Franklin start?  Really, this is going to be a mess until that's also complete.

It could be related to the cost, but I am not sure the cost scales when you take less time but have a lot of workers v/s you take more time but have less workers. 

401 to Hespeler construction is supposed to be done by summer of 2019.  The Hespeler to Townline widening is supposed to start in 2018 and be finished in "2021-2022".
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(06-06-2017, 07:15 PM)p2ee Wrote: I have a feeling MTO wants to avoid reducing lanes on the 401 as much as possible, but you're right it'd make more sense to reduce a lane westbound than eastbound (and currently they have it backwards).

One thing that is somewhat shocking about this project is that they're taking 5 years to widen 4 kms of highway.  Down in Chicago, they're in the process of widening (maybe they're already done?) about 40 kms of I-90 from 6 lanes to 10.  That highway is just as busy (maybe even slightly more) and they have similar climate as us.  And their timeline is about 2.5 years.  Some people have mentioned the replacement of speed river bridges as the reason, but in the I-90 project they're also replacing the bridge over Fox river, which seems to be about as wide as grand river (google street view here).  

And there's an obvious pattern here.. 4 years to add 2.5 km of express-collector in Mississauga back in 2010-2013 and another 4 years to add another 2.5 km of express collector currently under construction.

I'm not familiar with the I-90 Chicago widening, but did they fully replace the existing roadway too? For this 401 widening project, the existing highway carriageway was identified as requiring a full and complete replacement (grading, drainage, granular, superpave asphalt surface, structures - bridge replacement over river, etc.). What the MTO needs to do here is build the new carriageway, shift traffic over to the new alignment, and then fully remove and replace the existing carriageway, and then merge the two together for the final product. That is a complex undertaking while keeping a fully operational highway carrying well over 100,000 vehicles a day.

I can see where a simple 2 lane widening would be much quicker where a new 2 lanes would just be joined with the existing roadway.
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Thanks for the explanation; when you put it that way, it makes sense!
For daily ion construction updates, photos and general urban rail news, follow me on twitter! @Canardiain
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(06-06-2017, 09:36 PM)The85 Wrote: I'm not familiar with the I-90 Chicago widening, but did they fully replace the existing roadway too? For this 401 widening project, the existing highway carriageway was identified as requiring a full and complete replacement (grading, drainage, granular, superpave asphalt surface, structures - bridge replacement over river, etc.). What the MTO needs to do here is build the new carriageway, shift traffic over to the new alignment, and then fully remove and replace the existing carriageway, and then merge the two together for the final product. That is a complex undertaking while keeping a fully operational highway carrying well over 100,000 vehicles a day.

I can see where a simple 2 lane widening would be much quicker where a new 2 lanes would just be joined with the existing roadway.

Oh this is a good point, especially cases where I've seen the "added" lanes half the time were just shoulders that people were now allowed to use.
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(06-06-2017, 07:15 PM)p2ee Wrote: I have a feeling MTO wants to avoid reducing lanes on the 401 as much as possible, but you're right it'd make more sense to reduce a lane westbound than eastbound (and currently they have it backwards).

One thing that is somewhat shocking about this project is that they're taking 5 years to widen 4 kms of highway.  Down in Chicago, they're in the process of widening (maybe they're already done?) about 40 kms of I-90 from 6 lanes to 10.  That highway is just as busy (maybe even slightly more) and they have similar climate as us.  And their timeline is about 2.5 years.  Some people have mentioned the replacement of speed river bridges as the reason, but in the I-90 project they're also replacing the bridge over Fox river, which seems to be about as wide as grand river (google street view here).  

And there's an obvious pattern here.. 4 years to add 2.5 km of express-collector in Mississauga back in 2010-2013 and another 4 years to add another 2.5 km of express collector currently under construction.

I am thinking, perhaps, that it has something to do with environmental assessments. And by that, I mean every step of the way.  

Climate *might* be a thing too. The average temperature in Chicago is 10.8 C vs 7.0 C in Kitchener. 37" of snow in Chicago and 63" in Kitchener.

Could be other reasons too. Ontario seems to have a lot of projects going on all at once, so you can only have so many workers. One thing I noticed in Ontario, there is constant highway construction. It never stops. Ever.  Since I started driving construction has been continual in the Kitchener area. What I remember: Flyover to the 401. Barrier on Expressway (between Bridgeport and Ottawa), 401 going for 2 lanes to 3 from Kitchener (Highway 8) to Milton, 401 2 lanes to 3 from Highway 8 to Homer Watson/Fountain, extension of expressway towards New Hamburg, extension of expressway towards Elmira, flyover from Expressway to Highway 8, 401 2 lanes to 3 from Kitchener to Woodstock, widening of Highway 8 to 401, widening and barriers of Expressway from collectors to Highway 8, widening and barriers of Expressway from Highway 8 to Fischer-Hallman. Highway 7 construction from Kitchener to Guelph + interchanges, widening of 401 from highway 8 to Hespeler Rd.  Not to mention new or improved interchanges. (like Sportsworld, Northfield, King at Highway 8 (Freeport) and Trussler)

And that's just Kitchener. I remember going to Huntsville and every year the 400 (or 11) would be extended. It was a continual thing. 407 ETR built in the late 1980's to early 1990's. I remember the free rides back then on the 407.  

Hamilton has seen a lot of highway construction too, like The Link, and Red Valley Expressway and the 403 being completed from Hamilton to Brantford.

I really think it's all planned out years in advance, so that you have have so many highway workers, (let's 50,000) always working.  You could hire 300,000 guys and get things done in a couple years, but then you have massive unemployment. Just go at it with a priority and always have work.
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(06-06-2017, 09:36 PM)The85 Wrote:
(06-06-2017, 07:15 PM)p2ee Wrote: I have a feeling MTO wants to avoid reducing lanes on the 401 as much as possible, but you're right it'd make more sense to reduce a lane westbound than eastbound (and currently they have it backwards).

One thing that is somewhat shocking about this project is that they're taking 5 years to widen 4 kms of highway.  Down in Chicago, they're in the process of widening (maybe they're already done?) about 40 kms of I-90 from 6 lanes to 10.  That highway is just as busy (maybe even slightly more) and they have similar climate as us.  And their timeline is about 2.5 years.  Some people have mentioned the replacement of speed river bridges as the reason, but in the I-90 project they're also replacing the bridge over Fox river, which seems to be about as wide as grand river (google street view here).  

And there's an obvious pattern here.. 4 years to add 2.5 km of express-collector in Mississauga back in 2010-2013 and another 4 years to add another 2.5 km of express collector currently under construction.

I'm not familiar with the I-90 Chicago widening, but did they fully replace the existing roadway too? For this 401 widening project, the existing highway carriageway was identified as requiring a full and complete replacement (grading, drainage, granular, superpave asphalt surface, structures - bridge replacement over river, etc.). What the MTO needs to do here is build the new carriageway, shift traffic over to the new alignment, and then fully remove and replace the existing carriageway, and then merge the two together for the final product. That is a complex undertaking while keeping a fully operational highway carrying well over 100,000 vehicles a day.

I can see where a simple 2 lane widening would be much quicker where a new 2 lanes would just be joined with the existing roadway.

Based on the google street view imagery, it appears the existing roadway is being replaced in the.  Here's an image from 2016 where the traffic is using the newly built outside lanes and from 2015  (this image is from the same location but from the point of view of the lanes going in the opposite direction) where  traffic is using the old lanes.  I can't say for sure whether it's full depth reconstruction in the existing lanes or just resurfacing though.

Agreed, widening from 2 lanes to 4 is easier, but in this project they added 2 lanes (1 in each direction) to the existing roadway.
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Update on the next phase of work from Hespeler to Townline:
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Happy to hear the Hespeler and Franklin bridges will be replaced. Both feel far too narrow to me with inadequate ped access. Also they look crumbly, and I love me some fresh and clean looking infra Smile
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Feels like they just put one of the Hespeler Road bridges in.

I wonder if they'll add any ramps to the Franklin interchange.
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(06-13-2017, 04:27 PM)GtwoK Wrote: Happy to hear the Hespeler and Franklin bridges will be replaced. Both feel far too narrow to me with inadequate ped access. Also they look crumbly, and I love me some fresh and clean looking infra Smile

The Franklin bridge actually has no provision for cyclists or pedestrians at all. In fact, there were "No Pedestrian/No Cyclist" signs until they installed the Pinebush/Franklin roundabout.

(not that the roundabout changed anything - but I think while they were there working on it they just decided to yank them down when they saw how many people actually do need a place to cross - as dangerous as it is to do so there.)
For daily ion construction updates, photos and general urban rail news, follow me on twitter! @Canardiain
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I think the new ramp from 401E to Hespeler Rd. will be opening tomorrow from the sounds of it as I think I saw a sign saying the exit to Hespeler would be closed.
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(06-16-2017, 01:47 PM)jamincan Wrote: I think the new ramp from 401E to Hespeler Rd. will be opening tomorrow from the sounds of it as I think I saw a sign saying the exit to Hespeler would be closed.

The new ramp is now open! Things really starting to change along this stretch.
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Is it just me, or is work progressing much more rapidly now that the east-bound lanes shifted over? I may be mistaken as I'm focused on the road primarily when I'm driving through that area, but it seemed that they are already pouring the new bridge structure over the river where the old east-bound lanes were. Is this scheduled for completion in 2018?
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They moved them over to the right a few weeks back.
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