The Regional Municipality Of York

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The Future State of Yonge Street, Davis Drive to Green Lane
Town of Newmarket and Town of East Gwillimbury
2020 to 2025


Yonge Street south of Green Lane to Davis Drive


Yonge Street at Green Lane looking south towards existing photo. Yonge Street at Green Lane looking south towards Davis Drive proposed rendering.

York Region cares about your community and we are committed to delivering transportation improvements safely, while minimizing disruptions as best as possible. We’re building, reconstructing and repairing regional roads for you and your community.

We understand that continued construction and the traffic delays caused by this work is frustrating for residents living in this area. Please know that we analyze and review all traveller data for each project, to determine the best possible solutions to ease congestion and traffic delays during construction.

To meet the demands of all travellers in this area, York Region is improving Yonge Street from Davis Drive to Green Lane, in the Towns of Newmarket and East Gwillimbury. This multi-year project will support growth along this busy corridor while creating an efficient, safe and attractive roadway for travellers - whether driving, walking, cycling or taking transit.

Work will begin in fall 2020 and will be completed in stages to help alleviate impacts to all travellers and pedestrians. Access to businesses, as well as four lanes of traffic will be maintained throughout this project.

Improvements include:

  • Road widening from four lanes to six through lanes, including two High Occupancy Vehicle (HOV) lanes
  • Upgrading five traffic signals for enhanced accessibility and adding new traffic signals for better access into businesses
  • Widening the sidewalks to include bicycle paths on each side of Yonge Street within the boulevards
  • Installing new street lighting along Yonge Street
  • Creating a centre median along Yonge Street to accommodate future transit options when the time is right and the demand is there
  • Beautifying the area with tree plantings and other greenery

Background

Urbanization and road widening from four to six lanes, including Transit-HOV lanes, cycling facilities and enhanced streetscaping.

Graphic map yonge street from davis drive to green lane. for a detailed description contact 1 877 464 9675 extension 75923.

Road, Municipality:

Yonge Street, Newmarket and East Gwillimbury

Project Number:

8571

The Regional Municipality of York en-US

Construction Timeline and Current Status

Graphic elevation diagram of the future state of yonge street. for a detailed description contact 1 877 464 9675 extension 75923.


Current Status:

Yonge Street constuction timeline diagram with we are here arrow. For a detailed description please contact 1 877 464 9675 extesion 75923.

Construction Starts:

Utility relocation is starting January 2021.

Phone, internet, gas, hydro and other infrastructure located underground and within the project area will be relocated to prepare for the road widening project. With seven utility companies located within the project scope, relocation of utilities will take several years.

 

utility company logos; hydro one, newmarket hydro, enbridge, bell, rogers, yorknet and envi.

 

Road construction will start in late 2022/early 2023. Below represents the tentative project schedule.

Yonge Street detailed construction timeline in stages. For a detailed description please contact 1 877 464 9675 extension 75923.

The Regional Municipality of York en-US

Frequently Asked Questions

About the project

What are the benefits of the project?
The Yonge Street improvement project has many benefits to help with future growth and development in the Town of Newmarket and Town of East Gwillimbury, including:

  • Widening the roadway from four to six lanes, including HOV lanes
  • Widening the sidewalks and providing space for a boulevard cycling path
  • Upgrading all York Region Transit stops along Yonge Street
  • Upgrading traffic signals to meet Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act (AODA) requirements
  • Installing new traffic signals for better access to businesses
  • New street lighting along Yonge Street
  • New asphalt paving along Yonge Street
  • Beautifying the area with tree and shrub plantings
  • Creating a centre median along Yonge Street to accommodate future transit options when the time is right and the demand is there

Why are these improvements taking place?

  • To accommodate future growth, the growing population and increase in travellers in the area
    • Currently, over 43,000 vehicles per day travel on Yonge Street from Davis Drive to Green Lane
    • This is projected to increase to over 65,000 vehicles per day, once the project is anticipated to be completed in 2025
    • Pedestrian travel in the peak hours is anticipated to grow by approximately 50% in 2031 and by almost 400% by 2041 on Yonge Street north of Davis Drive
  • These improvements will alleviate traffic and provide a safe, more reliable roadway that is inclusive for all users

What is the project timeline?

  • The current project identifies construction beginning in fall 2020 and ending in 2025
    • The work beginning in fall 2020 will include utility relocation
    • Road construction is anticipated to start in late 2022 or early 2023
    • Work will be completed in stages to help alleviate impacts to travellers and pedestrians
  • York Region has hired a third-party consultant to obtain feedback from stakeholders about how to accelerate the project, while minimizing impacts to travellers, businesses, and the community
  • The stakeholders involved include: Town of Newmarket, Town of East Gwillimbury, utility companies, contractors, businesses, residents and Council members
  • York Region will provide advance notice prior to construction activities commencing

Why will utility relocation take several years?

  • Approximately 200 hydro poles, utility pedestals and manholes have to be removed, transferred and installed covering a distance, if laid out end to end, of over 20,000 metres within the project limits. For each of the seven utility companies, this work can take several years to complete, if carried out individually and not working simultaneously
  • Due to the amount of utility companies and the work involved, the seven companies cannot safely complete the utility work at the same time
  • There are also utilities that are very sensitive and can affect a lot of people, if the work is not executed properly. Many of the utility lines in the area connects York Region to other cities/towns across Ontario
  • This work is being completed cautiously to ensure residents and business owners always have power, gas and internet during this work and beyond

Are the ponds near Upper Canada Mall going to be affected?

  • Both ponds are not critical for storm water management and are ornamental only
  • We are reconstructing and relocating the entrance into Upper Canada Mall which will require filling part of the pond in that area. This decision was determined by York Region and Upper Canada Mall

Is a rapid transit facility being installed as part of this project?

  • A rapid transit facility is not being constructed. A centre median is being built along Yonge Street. This will allow for a future rapid transit facility, when the time is right, population demands it, and when the population, traveller and transit ridership is there

Why is a centre median being installed?

  • A centre median is being installed as part of this work to eliminate the need to go back and build the necessary infrastructure, if there is demand in the future, for dedicated rapid transit facilities. A centre median will provide more spaces for planting and eliminate mid-block left turns which keeps traffic moving and can be a contributing factor in collisions

Why are the bicycle lanes being installed in the boulevard and not on the roadway?

  • The original Environmental Assessment design had bicycle lanes on the roadway
  • After consulting with York Region’s Sustainable Mobility team and the Town of Newmarket and
    Town of East Gwillimbury, it was recommended the bicycle lanes be installed within the boulevard for a more functional, inclusive streetscape design
  • The design was revised based on the recommendations as this was in the best interest of the overall project

How does this project compare to the work that took place on Davis Drive?

  • The differences between the Davis Drive project and the project on Yonge Street include:
    • Davis Drive is a much narrower roadway, which increased the construction impact to travellers on the road due to lane closures and lane width reductions during construction
    • Part of the project scope on Davis Drive and Yonge Street south, included the installation of a centre median rapid transit facility. The Yonge Street from Davis Drive to Green Lane project is not constructing a rapid transit facility
    • 30,210 vehicles per day travel on Davis Drive. 43,000 vehicles per day travel on Yonge Street

Traffic impacts

What are the impacts to traffic based on the current schedule?

  • Four lanes of traffic will be maintained throughout the construction period. Lane reductions may be required during the off-peak hours of 9:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. for construction

Will work be happening at night?

  • Night work may be considered with lane reductions to expedite the project while minimalizing traveller delays. Advanced notice will be provided if it’s determined to be beneficial to efficiently progress the work
  • Night work may be considered throughout construction for asphalt removal, paving and line painting work. This work is better performed at night and will minimize delays to traffic

Will sidewalks be maintained?

  • Sidewalks will be maintained throughout construction for pedestrian use

How are you trying to minimize travel impacts?

  • York Region reviews the corridor of each project to determine how to manage traffic delays during construction
  • York Region has hired a third-party consultant to obtain feedback about how to accelerate the project, while minimizing impacts to travellers
  • The stakeholders involved include: Town of Newmarket, Town of East Gwillimbury, utility companies, contractors, businesses, residents and Council members

Will traffic signal timing be adjusted to improve traffic flow?

  • York Region actively monitors traffic signal timing through staff on-site during construction and remotely from the Roads and Traffic Operations Centre
  • While it is everyone’s desire that they get the maximum green time so that they can proceed through an 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

Business impacts

Is access to businesses going to be maintained?

  • Yes. Access to businesses will be maintained throughout construction

Business supports will be provided as they become available. If you are a business owner in the area and have questions, please contact transportation@york.ca

General inquiries

How much work goes into preparing road projects for construction?

  • It takes eight to ten years to deliver major road projects
  • An environmental assessment study, road design, property acquisition, utility relocation and permits must be completed before construction can begin
  • Coordinating work with our partners, including ministries, local cities and towns, conservation authorities, utility companies and developers is important to ensure disruption to travellers and the community is minimized

How can a construction project get delayed?

  • Weather is a large factor in delaying a construction project
    • To conduct paving work, weather conditions must be ideal, the surface must be dry and above a specified temperature
  • Unknown factors
    • During excavation, contaminated soil could be uncovered and would need to be disposed of at an approved and registered waste disposal site, capable of receiving hazardous and waste material, as authorized under Part V of the Environmental Protection Act
    • COVID-19 and Public Health guidelines

COVID-19

How is COVID-19 affecting construction projects?

  • Construction projects have continued since the beginning of the pandemic because they been identified by the provincial government as an essential service

What steps are York Region and their contractors implementing to support construction workers and prevent the spread of COVID-19 on construction sites?

  • Increased sanitation and physical distancing are being practiced on all Regional construction sites. All contractors are following the provincial government’s guidance for construction workers health and safety during COVID-19
  • York Region has requested updated health and safety plans specific to COVID-19 from all contractors

Safety

What are the safety measures in place and how is safety considered?

  • York Region conducts routine inspections of all its structures and determines the need for repair to ensure a reliable and safe travel for all users
  • When construction projects are being planned and implemented, residents, businesses, travellers and the environment are all taken into consideration
  • During the design phase of a construction project, the Region ensures we are meeting Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act requirements and the needs of all users within our transportation network
  • York Region reviews hundreds of intersections each year and studies are completed to consider traffic and pedestrian volumes, future development, delay and collision history
  • A Traffic Safety Report is produced each year to provide an understanding of road safety trends on Regional roads. This report supports the planning and execution of coordinated law enforcement, road safety improvements and public education campaigns for travellers in York Region. Reports can be viewed here
  • Signage is installed around a construction area to let travellers know what is going on and how to travel safely through the work zone

Safety tips for motorists travelling through construction zones

Many construction workers are injured or killed each year when working on roads. When driving through construction zones motorists must:

  • Slow down early when approaching construction zones
  • Be patient and obey signs and signal persons
  • Merge well in advance when lanes are being reduced
  • Avoid lane changes, give yourself extra space following and be ready to stop
  • Do not speed up quickly when leaving construction zones
  • Do not pass construction vehicles when their amber lights are flashing
  • Plan ahead and expect delays

Visit our Traffic Safety Program page for more safety tips.

Safety tips for pedestrians and cyclists through construction zones

  •  It is very important to obey ALL work zone signs, workers and pavement markings
  • Watch where you are going. Your primary responsibility is going through the work zone as safely as you can
  • Orange Work Zone Signs – these signs communicate to drivers, pedestrians and cyclists what is going on and how to travel safely through the work zone. They can also indicate that a sidewalk is closed and that a detour must be taken
  • Pavement Markings –painted or taped lines on the pavement separate car travel lanes and can also indicate pedestrian and cyclist paths
  • During construction some sidewalks and crossings at intersections may be closed. Pedestrians may be required to move to the other side of the road or to a temporary pedestrian walkway
  • Use designated pedestrian crosswalks and traffic lights to cross the street before reaching a construction zone and DO NOT cross in the middle of the road
  • Avoid standing in close proximity to any construction machinery and open excavations while construction activities are taking place
  • Please DO NOT walk on the roadway beside the barriers

Please be alert and aware of your surroundings when travelling near construction areas

Visit our Traffic Safety Program page for more safety tips.

Contact

Who can residents contact if they have concerns or inquiries about the project?

The Regional Municipality of York en-US

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