The Regional Municipality Of York

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Major Mackenzie Drive: Highway 400 to Highway 50

Transforming Major Mackenzie Drive

Section 3, proposed rendering shows how the intersection and bridge will align with the future Major Mackenzie Drive.

The Regional Municipality of York is investing in building a safe, efficient and reliable Regional transportation network for all users. Improvements to Major Mackenzie Drive from Highway 50 to Highway 400 in the City of Vaughan continue to accommodate growth, improve traffic flow and provide more travel options for all. 

Graphic map showing road construction area highlighting the four sections on Major Mackenzie Drive. For a detailed description of this map please call 1 877 464 9675 extension 75923.

Construction Update

Section 1: Pine Valley Drive to Highway 400

  • This section has been widened to six lanes and is complete

Section 2: Islington Avenue to Pine Valley Drive

    • Construction began on the north half of the roadway in July 2020 and continued until the end of the year, with construction activities shutting down for winter
    • Upcoming work in 2021 includes:
      • Continuing work on the north half of the roadway, including installing new curb and gutter, sidewalk, street lighting and paving the roadway
      • Continuing work on the north half of the bridges
      • Switching traffic to the newly constructed lanes on the north side of the road in order to complete work on the south side of road, including installing new curb, multi-use path and street lighting. This will take place in late summer 2021
      • Installing wildlife fencing along the property line to help prevent animals from crossing the roadway
      • Paving, line painting and installing signage, including the signs for the High-Occupancy Vehicle (HOV) lanes
      • Planting trees, shrubs and grass along the roadway slopes
    • Work is anticipated to be completed in 2021

    Major Mackenzie Drive will remain open to traffic and access to Islington Avenue and Pine Valley Drive will be maintained; however, temporary lane closures may be required between 9:30 a.m. and 3:30 p.m.

    photo of progress on east humber river bridge. photo take in october 2020.

    Section 3: Canadian Pacific Railway tracks to Islington Avenue

    This section will be completed in phases.

    Phase 1: Major Mackenzie Drive between Highway 27 and Islington Avenue

    • This section was substantially completed in fall 2020, including the new High Occupancy Vehicle (HOV) lanes
    • Landscaping and final clean-up will take place in 2021

    Phase 2: Major Mackenzie Drive between the CPR tracks and Highway 27

    • This section was opened to motorists on December 12, 2020, including the bridge over the CPR tracks
    • Permanent traffic signals were installed and activated at Barons Street and Timber Creek Boulevard on January 20, 2021
    • Work anticipated to be completed in 2021 includes:
      • Finishing construction on the CPR bridge, including installing an additional railing and constructing a retaining wall on the north side
      • Removing the detour road and temporary rail crossing, which was used during construction of the bridge, and placing topsoil and seeding on the area
      • Finishing construction of the median planters, sidewalk, multi-use path, line painting, landscaping and roadway signage, including the signs and line painting for the High-Occupancy Vehicle (HOV) lanes

    Major Mackenzie Drive will remain open to traffic; however, temporary lane closures will be required as construction activities take place. The section of Major Mackenzie Drive from approximately 100 metres west of Timber Creek Boulevard to the CPR bridge will be reduced to two lanes to complete work.

    photo major mackenzie drive between islington avenue and highway 27. photo take in october 2020.

    progress on the new major mackenzie drive alignment and humber river bridge. photo taken in october 2020.



    photo progress on the bridge over the CPR tracks. photo taken in october 2020.

    Section 4: Highway 50 to Highway 427 extension

    • This section was substantially completed in December 2020
    • Landscaping and final clean-up will take place in 2021

    For more information about this project, visit the Road Construction Schedule page.

    photo highway 427 extension to east of highway 50 section. photo taken in october 2020.

    Reminders

    For everyone’s safety, please reduce your speed through the construction area. Please contact us if you notice any safety issues in and around the construction sites.

    Travellers are encouraged to use traffic and navigation tools. York Region provides real time traffic and road information in open data, used by many apps.

    This work may be rescheduled due to weather conditions or delays related to COVID-19 Public Health guidelines. York Region will provide advance notice whenever possible.

    We’re here to answer your questions. Accessible formats of this newsletter or communication supports are available upon request.


    Take a look at the Humber River bridge construction from a bird’s-eye view


    Frequently Asked Questions

    What are the benefits of this project?

    • Improved east and west travel route between Highway 400 and Highway 50
    • Provides additional lanes for vehicles and new High Occupancy Vehicles (HOV) lanes for buses and passenger vehicles with more than one person. This should help ease congestion in the area
    • Provides travellers with a connection to the future Highway 427 extension
    • Improved intersections with updated signals that meet Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act (AODA) requirements  
    • Improved roadway conditions allowing for safer driving conditions
    • Provides a new multi-use path and sidewalks with street lighting, allowing more travel options for all
    • A new bridge over the Canadian Pacific Rail tracks (west of Highway 27), allowing vehicles to continue their travel without having to wait for  train crossings

    I noticed the new Major Mackenzie Drive has opened. What does this mean for traffic and the old Major Mackenzie Drive?

    • The new re-aligned section of Major Mackenzie Drive between the CP Rail tracks and Highway 27 was opened to motorists on December 12, 2020, including the bridge over the CPR tracks
    • Pedestrian access will be available on the CPR Bridge and the sidewalk on Major Mackenzie Drive once all work is completed in 2021
    • Motorists will be able to use the new re-aligned Major Mackenzie Drive all the way from Highway 50 to Highway 27
    • The old Major Mackenzie Drive will not be closed at this time, providing an alternate connection between Timber Creek Boulevard and Highway 27

    Are traffic signals being installed at the intersections of Barons Street and Timber Creek Boulevard?

    • Yes, permanent traffic signals have been installed at both intersections and were activated on January 20, 2021

    Are there any lane closures or reductions associated with this project?

    • During construction, we are trying to keep at least one lane open including left-turn lanes at all times
    • Major Mackenzie Drive will remain open to traffic; however, temporary lane closures will be required as construction activities take place

    Will there be any night work?

    • Some operations are better performed at night when traffic is lighter. For example, the final layer of pavement is best facilitated at night to minimize traffic disruptions 
    • There are currently no long-term night operations for this project at this time

    How is the natural environment considered during construction?

    The natural environment plays a large role in the assessment, planning and design with all Regional construction projects. The Region worked closely with many approving agencies to get the necessary permits to undertake the improvements to Major Mackenzie Drive from Highway 50 to Highway 400. Through the permitting process, they have all provided input on how we address the environmental aspects of the project.

    The removal of trees and wildlife habitat is required to undertake the project. The section between Highway 27 and Pine Valley Drive had the most trees removed.  However, the project also has many positive features, including:

    • Humber River Bridge – This is a large 150m long bridge that spans the Humber River. Although this is a new bridge, it was designed to span the floodplain of the Humber River and allow water passage during large rainfall events. The large span ensures the flood waters remain unchanged from existing, therefore minimizing the impact to the existing residences. The elevation of the bridge is such that the floodwaters do not overtop the roadway, allowing safe passage during a rainstorm   
    • East Humber River – The existing bridge has an 18.0m wide opening underneath. The new bridge has a 76.0m wide opening, allowing improved water flow during large rainfall events and better wildlife and pedestrian passage
    • Purpleville Creek – The existing structure is a series of four 3.6m wide concrete culverts. The new structure is a bridge with a 40.0m wide opening, also greatly improving water flow during large rainfall events and is a large improvement for wildlife passage
    • Wildlife Crossings – Between Islington Avenue and Pine Valley Drive, the Region will be installing three 3.0m wide concrete culverts for wildlife passage. There are currently no existing wildlife crossing structures. Additionally, wildlife fences will be installed along the north and south sides of Major Mackenzie Drive to direct wildlife to cross at the three wildlife culverts or the two bridges. These measures should reduce wildlife mortality and facilitate habitat connections across the road
    • Tree Removal – Trees that are removed will be replaced at approximately a 3:1 ratio with new trees. The Region will plant as many trees as possible within the existing road allowance and the rest will be replaced on other Region or TRCA land. The trees being removed are utilized for lumber, firewood or bedding material at farms, depending on the quality of the wood removed
    • Roadway Stormwater – The stormwater from the roadway is collected and treated to remove the contaminants and sediment and also cooled before entering the existing water course

    The Region pays strict attention to bird and fish breeding seasons when doing work by not cutting down trees within the bird nesting season (unless a biologist confirms nests are not present) and not conducting any work in the stream if the fish are spawning.

    Can pedestrians and cyclists still use the road?

    • Yes. Pedestrians and cyclists can still use the roadway
    • The installation of a multi-use path is part of the scope of this project, that can be utilized by pedestrians and cyclists once complete

    General Inquiries:
    Capital Planning and Delivery
    Phone: 1-877-464-9675
    Email: transportation@york.ca

    Construction Activity:
    Gary Leonard
    Construction Administrator
    Phone: 1-877-464-9675 ext. 75935
    Email: transportation@york.ca

    After hours emergency: 1-877-464-9675 ext. 75200

     


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    View Major Mackenzie Drive road improvements photo gallery


     

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