The Gardiner Expressway will be completely closed during Thanksgiving weekend
It might be a good idea to avoid the roads as much as possible this Thanksgiving long weekend, because getting around Toronto won't be easy with the Gardiner Expressway closed off.
According to the city, from 11:59 p.m. on Fri, October 11 until 5 a.m. on Mon, October 14, the Gardiner will be completely closed from the Don Valley Parkway/Carlaw Ave. to Highway 427/Queen Elizabeth Way.
The Gardiner Expressway, from the DVP to Hwy 427, will be closed starting midnight on Fri., Oct 11 until 5am on Mon., Oct. 14 for important fall maintenance & construction. Please plan your travel ahead. https://t.co/RAx0GEQ31J @TO_Gardiner_LS pic.twitter.com/8Riwqju70y— TO Transportation (@TO_Transport) October 7, 2019
The closure is due to regular annual fall maintenance, though this has has also been coordinated with plans to set up the work zone for the third phase of construction on the Gardiner, in order to avoid additional closures.
The new phase of construction to renew the Gardiner Expressway between Jarvis and Cherry streets will see the concrete deck and steel girders fully replaced on the north half of the expressway.
Maintenance work will also include line marking, overhead and ground sign inspections, pothole repair and crack sealing, mechanical sweeping and debris removal, graffiti removal, catch basin flushing and cleaning, bridge inspections and chipping, flushing of bridge joints, inspection and more.
Once the weekend closure is over, the third phase of construction on the Gardiner will begin on Mon, October 14 at 5 a.m.
During this phase of construction, the Gardiner Expressway will be reduced to two lanes in each direction between York St. and the Don Valley Parkway, and it'll run simultaneously with the replacement of the westbound Sherbourne/Jarvis off-ramp.
Throughout construction, there will be speed limit reductions in work zones to ensure the safety of workers.
The city is using a construction technique called Accelerated Bridge Construction to replace the expressway's concrete deck and steel girders, which requires the new sections of the expressway and panels to be pre-built off site and then transferred into place.
According to the city, "this method causes less dust and noise and can reduce construction time by up to 40 per cent compared to traditional methods."
The entire construction project on the Gardiner is expected to be completed in 2021.
To avoid frustration, the city is advising drivers to plan trips in advance, consider alternative routes or public transit, obey signs around work zones for the safety of workers and be patient while driving.
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