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General Road and Highway Discussion
#1
General Road and Highway Discussion
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#2
The MTO released their annual Highway Program last week for 2014-2018. A little later than usual (should have came out in late 2014), it gives a little more insight as to what highway improvements and investments are planned for our area.

http://www.mto.gov.on.ca/english/pubs/hi...4-2018.pdf 

Some projects of note for Waterloo Region and Guelph:
  • Highway 401: 6 to 10 lane widening from Highway 8 to Hespeler Road - Target Completion Date: 2018
  • Highway 7/8: 4 to 6 lane widening from Courtland Avenue to past Fischer-Hallman Road - Target Completion Date: 2016
  • New Highway 7, Kitchener-Guelph: Target Completion Date: Beyond 2018
  • Highway 85: Resurfacing & Bridge Rehabilitations from Krug Street to Lancaster Street - Target Completion Date: 2016
  • Existing Highway 7: Resurfacing, Kitchener-Guelph - Target Completion Date: 2016-2018
  • Highway 401: Grand River Bridge Rehabilitation - Target Completion Date: 2016-2018
  • Highway 401: Hespeler Road Bridge Rehabilitation - Target Completion Date: 2016-2018
  • Highway 8 & 401: Interchange Improvements - Beyond 2018
  • Highway 7/8, New Hamburg-Stratford - Beyond 2018
  • Highway 6 (Hanlon Expressway Guelph) Grade Separation to Interchanges - Beyond 2018
  • Highway 6 Bypass, Moriston - Beyond 2018
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#3
(01-18-2015, 11:43 AM)The85 Wrote:
  • New Highway 7, Kitchener-Guelph: Target Completion Date: Beyond 2018
  • Highway 8 & 401: Interchange Improvements - Beyond 2018
  • Highway 7/8, New Hamburg-Stratford - Beyond 2018
  • Highway 6 (Hanlon Expressway Guelph) Grade Separation to Interchanges - Beyond 2018
  • Highway 6 Bypass, Moriston - Beyond 2018

Translation (at least for some of us who've been reading these sorts of projections for many years): "Not in your lifetime."
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#4
(01-18-2015, 01:12 PM)ookpik Wrote:
(01-18-2015, 11:43 AM)The85 Wrote:
  • New Highway 7, Kitchener-Guelph: Target Completion Date: Beyond 2018
  • Highway 8 & 401: Interchange Improvements - Beyond 2018
  • Highway 7/8, New Hamburg-Stratford - Beyond 2018
  • Highway 6 (Hanlon Expressway Guelph) Grade Separation to Interchanges - Beyond 2018
  • Highway 6 Bypass, Moriston - Beyond 2018

Translation (at least for some of us who've been reading these sorts of projections for many years): "Not in your lifetime."

True for all of the above except Highway 7 where work has already started.
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#5
(01-18-2015, 11:43 AM)The85 Wrote:
  • Highway 8 & 401: Interchange Improvements - Beyond 2018

I wonder what this means? Ramps connecting to the West?
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#6
(01-18-2015, 05:00 PM)Canard Wrote:
(01-18-2015, 11:43 AM)The85 Wrote:
  • Highway 8 & 401: Interchange Improvements - Beyond 2018

I wonder what this means?  Ramps connecting to the West?

I hope so.
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#7
(01-18-2015, 05:00 PM)Canard Wrote:
(01-18-2015, 11:43 AM)The85 Wrote:
  • Highway 8 & 401: Interchange Improvements - Beyond 2018

I wonder what this means?  Ramps connecting to the West?

I would assume so, yes.

One thing about these projects I don't understand is the rehabilitative work for some areas of highway that we know will be completely rebuilt or disposed of. For example, resurfacing the existing Highway 7 between Kitchener and Guelph. Why would the province pay to completely resurface this highway when it will be downloaded to the Region and County of Wellington once the new Highway 7 opens? Same goes for resurfacing Highway 85 between Krug and Lancaster when it will be extensively rebuilt for the new Highway 7 interchange. Finally, the Hespeler Road bridge will be demolished and rebuilt in the medium term when Highway 401 is widened, so why do a full rehabilitation? I hope the MTO thinks of these things in their planning and doesn't waste any more money than they have to. This is similar to the MTO repaving Northfield Drive over Highway 85 when Northfield will be reconstructed for LRT.
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#8
I think they are repaving Highway 7 because construction of the new highway will likely take many years. I've seen crews work non-stop for many years to complete a similar sized project out East.
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#9
Lots of people are going to keep using Victoria St/Woodlawn Rd too, and the Region/County probably don't have it in the budget to repave a road they don't even own yet.
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#10
Looks like prep work is starting for the Manitou reconstruction, there's a large collection of equipment and supplies around the billboards at the Bleams intersection.
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#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
(02-22-2015, 11:27 PM)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, 05:57 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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