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General Road and Highway Discussion
#11
So I've been reading the Conestoga Parkway book and there are some juicy tidbits here. It's interesting to see which roads used to be which. Mill St. used to be the main arterial in that area, for example, but they decided to switch it to Courtland and extend Courtland west of Mill St. to Fairway Rd. Vanier, Manitou, Doon Valley Rd and so on all used to be Mill St.

Homer Watson was supposed to connect to a brand new arterial west of Belmont, potentially connecting to Westmount (I'm not entirely clear, but Westmount originally didn't extend into Kitchener), but they had to axe those plans, and then alternate plans to connect to Belmont due to lack of funds.

I thought this tidbit was interesting. When they connected Westmount to Filsinger Rd (Westmount now in Kitchener), the original understanding was that Waterloo would pay for the CNR bridge over Westmount as Kitchener had paid for the bridge over Belmont. Waterloo reneged on the deal, and so in retaliation, Kitchener refused to widen Weber to four lanes from Victoria north to Waterloo.

The route of the 401 through the region ended up being a compromise between competing proposals from Kitchener and Galt/Preston. Kitchener initially proposed a route through the Freeport area, Galt and Preston then made their own proposal to run it between the two of them. The MTO took the middle ground.

It's definitely interesting getting a sense of what the region used to look like, what it was planned to look like, and what it has turned out to be.
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#12
(02-23-2015, 12:27 AM)jamincan Wrote: It's interesting to see which roads used to be which. Mill St. used to be the main arterial in that area, for example, but they decided to switch it to Courtland and extend Courtland west of Mill St. to Fairway Rd. Vanier, Manitou, Doon Valley Rd and so on all used to be Mill St.

It's fascinating to see how much we've reconfigured the street network over time - people like a narrative of "Waterloo Region roads don't make sense because Mennonites" but the reality is there were a lot more straight lines on the map before the second half of the 20th century.

I think Mill Street is the most cut-up street we have. Bonus: it used to go through the village of German Mills around present day Manitou Dr / Cress Lane; the only trace I've seen is the few old houses in that area.
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#13
rych mills told me a couple of years back that Mill St is the oldest street in Kitchener. It apparently follows more or less the trail used by the first Mennonite settlers to the area. I thought that was interesting because I had thought until then the King St would have been Kitchener's original street.
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#14
Any indication where the mill on Mill St was?
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#15
(02-23-2015, 06:57 PM)Drake Wrote: Any indication where the mill on Mill St was?

According to this, German Mills had a sawmill since 1812, so it seems not unlikely that it would've been the source of the name. Doon had mills as well, so there's not necessarily a "the mill" that it would've been named after.
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#16
Hwy 8/401 sure is taking a beating this winter. The potholes (craters!) are positively massive near Fairway. I wonder how long before someone looses a wheel.
For daily ion construction updates, photos and general urban rail news, follow me on twitter! @Canardiain
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#17
Just wait until things start to thaw. This unrelenting cold will leave some nice presents for us this spring. I'm not looking forward to see what happens to my driveway.
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#18
(02-23-2015, 10:04 PM)Canard Wrote: Hwy 8/401 sure is taking a beating this winter.  The potholes (craters!) are positively massive near Fairway.  I wonder how long before someone looses a wheel.

They were bad last year too. I complained to the MTO then and they were temporarily patched, and then the top layer of asphalt was milled and repaved last summer in the bad sections. Although hard to tell now, you can tell the areas where there has been spot repaving.

The main origin of this issue was they did some crack sealing with tar about two summers ago. To do this, the cracks have to be cut and opened to create a proper crevice to get tar seal in. This process however breaks into the surface layer of asphalt, which also lets water get in. They didn't do a good job of crack sealing, which rather than create potholes, the top layer of asphalt on Highway 8 is crumbling away in parts with the winter freezing.
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#19
(02-23-2015, 12:27 AM)jamincan Wrote: I thought this tidbit was interesting. When they connected Westmount to Filsinger Rd (Westmount now in Kitchener), the original understanding was that Waterloo would pay for the CNR bridge over Westmount as Kitchener had paid for the bridge over Belmont. Waterloo reneged on the deal, and so in retaliation, Kitchener refused to widen Weber to four lanes from Victoria north to Waterloo.

This is where Regional Roads now benefit us (post 1973). As Westmount Road clearly serves a regional function connecting North Dumfries in the south (I'm thinking back to when Fischer-Hallman south of present day Westmount used to be Westmount Road) to Woolwich Township in the north, the regional tax base would cover something like this, rather than a city tax levy, resulting in bickering between the lower tier municipalities.
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#20
The expressway is in great shape compared to highway 17 around Sudbury, there are potholes that would swallow a smartcar it seems.
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