Bad Drive, Good Flight
After five days of traffic nightmares, the Burlington Skyway has reopened.
The Ministry of Transportation made the announcement on Monday at 3 p.m. after removing four damaged vehicles from the bridge, making temporary repairs, and removing all debris.
According to the MTO, permanent repairs still need to be made, including the fabrication and installation of a new steel beam to replace the one that was damaged in Thursday’s crash. That work will be done at night over the next two months to ensure any lane reductions will have a minimal impact on traffic.
“This is not a cheap endeavour,” said Poei.
The Toronto-bound lanes of the Skyway were closed on Thursday afternoon after a dump truck with its box open struck the overhead truss of the bridge.
Sukhvinder Singh Rai, 34, of Brampton, faces impaired driving charges and is scheduled to appear in court Aug. 22.
In the aftermath of the crash, traffic was diverted to Eastport Drive, the Red Hill Valley Parkway, the Linc, Burlington Street and Fruitland Road. David Ferguson, superintendent of traffic engineering for the city, said the impact was felt throughout the city, including on the Mountain. (Source: Hamilton Spectator)
Meanwhile, Major roads and highways have reopened Tuesday in the wake of severe flash flooding across Burlington and parts of Halton Region over the Civic holiday.
Burlington was hit with the equivalent of two months of rainfall in one day.
According to Environment Canada, 150 millimetres fell in highly localized areas Monday night. Another 20 millimetres was expected. (Source: Hamilton Spectator)
Meanwhile, Hamilton’s Lancaster has safely landed at Goose Bay, Labrador, finishing the first leg of its journey to England.
According to a tweet from Matthew Munson, who paid $79,100 in an eBay auction for a seat on the historic trip, the bomber “landed at Goose Bay after a few fly pasts. What an epic journey here.”
On Wednesday the plane is scheduled to fly to Keflavik, Iceland, and continue from there to RAF Coningsby in England on Friday. Over its six-week tour, the bomber will take part in a series of air shows, many of which will also feature the world’s only other airworthy Lancaster owned by the RAF.
The celebrated Canadian Warplane Heritage Museum plane took off from Hamilton shortly after 10 a.m. Tuesday before a crowd of hundreds of cheering onlookers. (Source: Hamilton Spectator)
Gardiner grief: delays, lane closures a sign of things to come
Long-term lane closures on Toronto’s busy Gardiner Expressway begin today and mark the start of a long-term repair project that will add extra time to an already busy morning commute for the next few years.
On Monday morning the left lanes on both the eastbound and westbound Gardiner were closed between Park Lawn Road and Strachan Avenue. The closures are part of long-term construction work on the Gardiner that will continue through to 2016.
“On my way in to work this morning, the road was already slower than usual,” CBC’s Linda Ward reported.
In the early morning hours there were further lane restrictions eastbound from the Humber River to Carlaw. Those extra closures were removed up as of 5 a.m.
Things didn’t get much easier as the morning wore on. CBC overnight reporter Tony Smyth reported stop-and-go traffic on the eastbound Gardiner at 6:40 a. m
As a result of the construction work, eastbound Lake Shore Boulevard was also very slow Monday morning.
There were also a dozen collisions on the Gardiner Monday morning, three of them involving injuries.
Other details about the long-term repair work on the Gardiner:
The work and the lane closures it creates will continue until December 2016 with a pause for next summer’s Pan Am Games.
During this period, crews will repair three bridges on the Gardiner between the Humber River and Park Lawn Road. There will also be work done this summer to replace the centre median between Ellis Avenue and Dufferin Street.
GO Transit officials say they expect the work will cause delays during peak hours on the following bus routes: 16, 21 and 31.
“You’ll definitely need to give yourself more time in the mornings,” Ward reported. “These delays are going to be the new normal for the next few years.” (Source: CBC News)
Councillors pitch panel to study two-way traffic conversions
Councillors are now looking to a citizen panel to drive progress on the controversial proposed two-way traffic conversions of more than 20 city streets.
But a divided council may still revisit the issue next week at ratification.
Councillors Brian McHattie and Terry Whitehead jointly pitched the citizen panel in the hopes of depoliticizing the ever-contentious issue.
A series of recommendations from citizens would help “pull back on the rhetoric,” said McHattie, a mayoral candidate and vocal complete streets advocate.
The city would put aside $95,000 for a consultant to lead the panel study of complete streets and two-way traffic conversions, which would include residents from all wards. The effort would likely begin in September, with recommendations presented in early 2015.
Whitehead, who has expressed concern about the traffic implications of converting Mountain-climbing streets such as Queen to two-way traffic, said a “broad-based” citizen committee would “bring the temperature down” on the debate.
Other councillors disagreed, however.
Tom Jackson said the city has recently introduced too many major transportation changes, too fast.
Jackson said he and his constituents are “exhausted” with the changes, adding the Cannon Street bidirectional bike lanes “pretty well tapped me out.”
And Chad Collins argued the panel overcomplicated the issue, noting the city still needs to catch up on approved two-way conversions of eight lower city residential streets. He said he was “anxious to move ahead” on those projects that were supposed to be done by 2012. (Source: Hamilton Spectator)
Editorial Cartoon by Graeme MacKay, The Hamilton Spectator – March 17, 2001
Crackdown on Agressive Walking
More than 40 pedestrians have died in traffic accidents in Hamilton in the past six years.
Last year alone, 470 people were hit by cars. Of the eight who died, three were to blame for the accident.
Police are now gearing up to catch law-breaking pedestrians and aggressive drivers in May as part of the annual road safety blitz.
“People walk out whenever they feel like it,” said Hamilton Constable John Rusnak. “It only takes about 40 seconds for the light to change. It’s certainly worth life and limb to wait.”
About six Hamilton pedestrians die in traffic accidents every year — a total of 43 since 1995. The May jaywalking blitz will focus on three of Hamilton’s worst intersections: King Street East and Wellington Street, Barton Street East and Kenora Avenue, and Ogilvie Street and Governor’s Road.
Anyone caught disobeying the signals or failing to use the crosswalk could face a fine of up to $40.
Under the Highway Traffic Act, a person can be charged with failing to use the designated crosswalk if they are within 100 metres of the crosswalk.
“We’re just saying: ‘Listen –cross the proper way,'” Rusnak said. “We want to reduce the number of people struck on our streets.” (Source: Hamilton Spectator)