The Regional Municipality Of York


Major Mackenzie Drive: Notice of Partial Road Reopening

Major Mackenzie Drive City of Vaughan now open, one lane in each direction graphic thumbnail.

From McNaughton Road/Avro Road to 250 metres east of the intersection

York Region will reopen two lanes on Major Mackenzie Drive West, beginning Monday August 12, 2019 at McNaughton Road/Avro Road. Pedestrians may access the area using the sidewalk on the south side of the road.

Graphic Map Major Mackenzie Road Closure Area. For a detailed description please contact 1 877 464 9675 extension 75886.

Watch the video below to learn more about the project:

Frequently Asked Questions:

Why was the road closed?

York Region has replaced a large culvert located on Major Mackenzie Drive West in the City of Vaughan. The culvert is a large steel pipe tunnel that transports water from the West Don River.

To complete the replacement work, Major Mackenzie Drive West from McNaughton Road/Avro Road to 250 metres east of the intersection was scheduled to be fully closed from June 17 to August 30, 2019. A full closure of the road was required to ensure the work was completed as quickly, efficiently and safely as possible. Access to all properties was maintained during this closure.

Why is the road reopening early?

The contractor has been working to expedite the construction, and the work has been sufficiently advanced to the point that the road can be partially reopened in both directions for two lanes of traffic. The opening date is almost three weeks ahead of schedule and reaffirms the Region’s commitment to the community to reopen Major Mackenzie Drive as early as possible.

When will the construction be fully completed?

While the roadway between the curbs has been paved and will be opened to traffic beginning on August 12, construction work will continue within the boulevards and valley; as a result, the curb lanes in both directions will remain closed. The remaining work will be completed by late-September, 2019, at which time all lanes will be fully opened.

What about pedestrians and cyclists?

  • Effective August 19, 2019, pedestrians may access the area using the sidewalk on the south side of the road. The pedestrian shuttle will no longer operate
  • Cyclists may detour through the existing trail at Maple Airport Park, located on Avro Road south of Major Mackenzie Drive, and the surrounding subdivisions

Graphic Map Major Mackenzie Road Closure Detour for Cyclists. For a detailed description please contact 1 877 464 9675 extension 75886.

Will YRT continue to detour?

All York Region Transit buses have resumed regular routing.

What additional work was completed?

A large pedestrian and cycling-friendly underpass has been built next to the new river culvert to allow for future travel underneath the roadway, to support the City of Vaughan’s trail system network. A new watermain has also been installed to support the new Mackenzie Vaughan Hospital.

What is a culvert?

  •  A culvert is a tunnel or crossing located under a road. It can be built to transport either water, people or animals
  • In this case, this culvert is part of the water crossing for the West Don River

Why did the culvert need to be replaced?

  • The existing culvert was installed over 50 years ago in 1968. It has deteriorated significantly over the last two years
  • When the structure was inspected in spring 2018, it was discovered that the culvert had significantly deteriorated, with severe buckling of the floor plates
  • Structural engineers have confirmed that the existing culvert is in immediate need of replacement. Failure of the culvert could result in the collapse of the structure, embankment and roadway
  • The existing culvert has been temporarily stabilized but must be replaced as soon as possible

Why was the road fully closed?

A full road closure was required for the following reasons:

  • There is a narrow window from July 1 to September 15, during which construction is permitted in the West Don River due to strict environmental restrictions
  • Before the culvert can be replaced, there was a significant amount of road removal and soil excavation work required by the contractor, as the height of the embankment from the top of road to the river below is about eight metres; therefore, it was imperative that the contractor was provided with sufficient time to remove the existing roadway and carry out the deep excavation work
  • Following the deep excavation, the contractor needed to realign the creek, replace the existing culvert, install new watermain and storm sewers, and reinstate the roadway

It was not possible to keep the road open during construction as the deteriorated condition of the existing 50-year old culvert could cause it to collapse if York Region attempted to install the deep roadway protection system that would be required around it.

Can traffic signal timing be adjusted to improve traffic flow?

  • York Region is actively monitoring the traffic signal timings both through staff on-site and remotely from their Roads and Traffic Operations Centre
  • City of Vaughan staff is working with York Region to adjust timings for signals at local roads
  • While it is everyone’s desire that they get the maximum green time so that they can proceed through the intersection as soon as possible, adjusting traffic signal timing is a matter of balancing supply (green time on one road) and demand (delay on the crossing road)
  • Improving traffic flow on any road by providing more time green time for better progression, means taking away time from the road in the conflicting direction
  • The ability to provide more green time is also limited by the need to provide time for pedestrian crossings

What is the Region doing to improve traffic infiltration in my neighbourhood?

York Region understands that residents is seeing more traffic through the community due to construction on Major Mackenzie Drive east of McNaughton Road, and are frustrated. They have heard that some drivers may be speeding, or not stopping at stop signs in residential areas.

Signs have been placed on Major Mackenzie Drive, and will continue to be evaluated by York Region staff. Additionally, York Regional Police have been requested to monitor speeding and erratic driving behaviour.

How will residents and travellers know about the road closure?

A communication plan has been prepared in order to communicate this information to area residents, businesses and travellers. Communication pieces include but, are not limited to:

  • Information posted on
  • Social media posts throughout the project
  • Direct mailing to residents and businesses in the area
  • Opportunity to sign up for email updates
  • Media advisory
  • Newspaper advertisements
  • Electronic message boards placed around the construction area
  • Postcards distributed at community events
  • Information Centre on Wednesday, May 29 from 4 p.m. to 8 p.m. at Vaughan City Hall. View the display boards.
  • Radio advertisements
  • Direct communications to transit riders through various York Region Transit channels

How can I stay informed?

Details and updates will be posted on this page, as well as York Region's Facebook and Twitter channels. Follow us using #onYRroads for the latest updates.

You can also sign up to receive updates straight to your inbox by entering your email address.

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read the weekly construction update graphic bar with link to content.

If you have any questions regarding this project, contact information has been listed below.

General Inquiries:
Ashley Pacheco
Communications and Community Engagement Specialist
Phone: 1-877-464-9675 ext. 75886

Related Resources

Updated August 19, 2019

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