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  #21  
Old Posted Jan 12, 2014, 8:45 PM
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The only potential issue I see is the Westbound Stevenson exit, but even then it shouldn't be too much of an issue as you could simply make it a bit "longer" to fit through the tight space.

even at the tightest spots along the highway its seems to have a good 15-20 meter buffer.

edit: and it looks like there have been some documents posted that show how the highway will fit!
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  #22  
Old Posted Jan 12, 2014, 8:48 PM
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Still don't know if that'd be possible. Check out the Google maps satellite view thru Whitby and Oshawa.
There are some property impacts through Oshawa, but widening to ten lanes isn't that intrusive to the city. Although the sound barriers are right up against the highway through that stretch, there is generally a fair amount of greenspace behind them. The real property impacts through Oshawa will come from modernizing the interchanges -- however they end up deciding to do that.
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  #23  
Old Posted Jan 12, 2014, 9:01 PM
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I'd always thought the QEW was the big highway of the area.
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  #24  
Old Posted Jan 12, 2014, 9:02 PM
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.. The QEW ends at the 427, 45km from where we are talking about..
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  #25  
Old Posted Jan 12, 2014, 9:32 PM
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By area I mean the GTA.
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  #26  
Old Posted Jan 12, 2014, 11:37 PM
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Oh well regardless the 401 is much more important (not to say that the QEW isn't important either). Pre-expressway, the QEW (lakeshore road) was signed highway 1 and the 401 was signed highway 2, so they tend to be the most important corridors in the province.
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  #27  
Old Posted Jan 13, 2014, 12:10 AM
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Still don't know if that'd be possible. Check out the Google maps satellite view thru Whitby and Oshawa.
Check the view of Hwy 8 entering Kitchener - you expropriate land on either side, build a trench with cement walls and voilà.
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  #28  
Old Posted Jan 13, 2014, 12:16 AM
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Oh well regardless the 401 is much more important (not to say that the QEW isn't important either). Pre-expressway, the QEW (lakeshore road) was signed highway 1 and the 401 was signed highway 2, so they tend to be the most important corridors in the province.
The QEW was never signed as Highway 1.
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  #29  
Old Posted Jan 13, 2014, 1:09 AM
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I'd always thought the QEW was the big highway of the area.
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By area I mean the GTA.
This is the Ontario forum, not the GTA forum.

Not to say that the QEW isn't important though. It's going to be a pain to expand it through Mississauga though, awfully tight in some sections, arguably worse than the 401 through Oshawa.

You could say the QEW is the backbone of the Golden Horseshoe but the 401 is the backbone of southern, southwestern, central and eastern Ontario.

Was there a plan to ever get the 401 and QEW to meet up? I know that the Gardiner in Toronto was planned to run parallel to Lake Ontario to meet up with it.
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  #30  
Old Posted Jan 13, 2014, 1:16 AM
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1938 (!). Oshawa (at Simcoe Street):


thekingshighway.ca
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  #31  
Old Posted Jan 13, 2014, 1:20 AM
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ahhh, clear sailing.

thekingshighway.ca
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  #32  
Old Posted Jan 13, 2014, 1:22 AM
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It didn't last long. 401 at Keele st. (1958):
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  #33  
Old Posted Jan 13, 2014, 1:32 AM
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^and that is why a few years later they completely rebuilt the highway as the express-collectors system we see today.
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  #34  
Old Posted Jan 13, 2014, 1:35 AM
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The MTO has referred to the QEW as "Highway 1" or "Highway 451" but it doesn't have any official number, and Ontario has never officially had a Highway 1. The QEW through Halton, Peel and Toronto was Highway 2 until the 1950s, and part of the 401 was Highway 2A. Highway 401 was given its number because it was the second freeway to open after Highway 400. There isn't much logic to the highway numbering here. Highways 9, 10, 11, 12, 14, 15 and 16 are in order from west to east but otherwise, there is no logic. (There is no highway 13.)

2 - 148 are provincial trunk highways
400 to 427 and the QEW are provincial freeways
500 to 699 are secondary highways in the north
800 to 811 are tertiary highways in the north
Highways in the 7000 series are unmarked, and used for internal purposes at the MTO

I think they're numbered in the order they opened? I am pretty sure every other province (except maybe BC) has some sort of geographic basis to highway numbering.
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  #35  
Old Posted Jan 13, 2014, 1:53 AM
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ahhh, clear sailing.

thekingshighway.ca
Didn't last long like that. It was only a decade later that the four lane freeway was effectively completely destroyed to construct the current twelve lane highway.

A few of the original bridges do remain from the 1950s, though the decks have all been replaced. In the photo below, you can see the old bridge piers from the original bridge that carries the 401 overtop of the GO's Richmond Hill Line in North York. The deck has been replaced, but the piers remain. The arched piers were built for the original Toronto by-pass highway in the 1950s, while the square piers were built in the mid 1960s when the highway was twelve laned.



Hopefully that made sense.
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  #36  
Old Posted Jan 13, 2014, 2:03 AM
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The MTO has referred to the QEW as "Highway 1" or "Highway 451" but it doesn't have any official number, and Ontario has never officially had a Highway 1. The QEW through Halton, Peel and Toronto was Highway 2 until the 1950s, and part of the 401 was Highway 2A. Highway 401 was given its number because it was the second freeway to open after Highway 400. There isn't much logic to the highway numbering here. Highways 9, 10, 11, 12, 14, 15 and 16 are in order from west to east but otherwise, there is no logic. (There is no highway 13.)

2 - 148 are provincial trunk highways
400 to 427 and the QEW are provincial freeways
500 to 699 are secondary highways in the north
800 to 811 are tertiary highways in the north
Highways in the 7000 series are unmarked, and used for internal purposes at the MTO

I think they're numbered in the order they opened? I am pretty sure every other province (except maybe BC) has some sort of geographic basis to highway numbering.
400 series were initially numbered based on when they opened, but even then there are exceptions. 400 was built after the 401 for example. After a while they started numbering them based on the highway they replaced. (416, 417, 427)
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  #37  
Old Posted Jan 13, 2014, 9:31 AM
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thekingshighway.ca, the site MolsonExport has sourced for photos, also contains a wealth of historical information on Ontario's highways. It's not an official MTO site, but the hobby of an MTO employee who seems pretty meticulous about his research.


A few summary points from that site:

Highway 401 was built to create an alternative to the slow and congested Highway 2. The first section opened in 1947 through Scarborough Township to Oshawa, designated as Highway 2A.

It appears that the 400-series numbering began in 1952 after Highway 400 opened; 2A was renumbered as the 401, and the short stretch of highway in Sarnia leading to the bridge was called the 402. It is interesting that what became the 401 was built first but numbered second in sequence - I wonder if that was a conscious decision or just a product of the planning of the day (perhaps the idea began for the 400 and they simply decided to add other controlled-access highways in series starting with those 3?)

Highway 2 between Toronto and Burlington was always Lakeshore Rd. The Queen Elizabeth Way was built between Lakeshore Rd. and Dundas St. (Highway 5) along what used to be called the Middle Road. It was completed between Hamilton and Toronto in 1937 and then extended to Niagara Falls, but wasn't given the name QEW until 1939.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Innsertnamehere View Post
Pre-expressway, the QEW (lakeshore road) was signed highway 1 and the 401 was signed highway 2, so they tend to be the most important corridors in the province.
Quote:
Originally Posted by vid View Post
The QEW through Halton, Peel and Toronto was Highway 2 until the 1950s, and part of the 401 was Highway 2A. Highway 401 was given its number because it was the second freeway to open after Highway 400.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Innsertnamehere View Post
400 series were initially numbered based on when they opened, but even then there are exceptions. 400 was built after the 401 for example. After a while they started numbering them based on the highway they replaced. (416, 417, 427)

Last edited by ScreamingViking; Jan 13, 2014 at 9:42 AM.
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  #38  
Old Posted Jan 14, 2014, 1:02 AM
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I'm curious about if there's any plans to widen the 401 between Cobourg and Kingston. On some occasions I've found traffic heavy along that stretch, particularly between Trenton and Belleville, and the AADT traffic counts along some of those sections are almost double that of the section between Tilbury and Windsor. The 401 was widened to six lanes in Kingston between Highway 38 and Montreal Street in recent years (which now operates very well), and a multi-year project to widen the highway from there to Highway 15 across the Cataraqui River is underway.
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  #39  
Old Posted Jan 14, 2014, 2:08 AM
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I know that long-term the MTO wants to have 6 lanes between Cobourg and Hwy 416. All new bridge replacements in that whole corridor are being designed to allow for 6-lane widening, like the bridge over the Trent River for example.

TBH I'm not sure why Highway 416 is the eastern end point of that goal, and not Cornwall or the QC border. Highway 416 despite being the freeway to Ottawa isn't actually that significant. As someone who drives between Kingston & Ottawa semi-regularly and has plenty of experience on the 416, I can say that it's one of the emptiest freeways I've ever seen. I don't think it's ever been clogged barring extreme scenarios, and on three occasions I literally couldn't see anybody else on the freeway (one of those was actually on Christmas Eve, believe it or not). At least the southern half, south of Kemptville is like that. The northern part carries a decent amount of Ottawa commuter traffic.

This is all because the 416 is a pretty shitty choice for a 401-Ottawa connection. Coming from the west on the 401, you have to go pretty far east to get to it and then you basically go back west again. The 416/401 interchange is as-the-crow-flies directly south of downtown Ottawa but you arrive in Ottawa at the western edge of the city.

In many cases, a trip from Ottawa to Kingston, Toronto, etc. is actually faster by taking Highway 15 and/or Highway 7. Only if you're coming from the south/southeast area of Ottawa (where my destinations are) does the 416 offer a clear advantage. Many people know this and so take the 7 or 15 instead.

In retrospect a better freeway route from Ottawa to the 401 would have followed the 15 corridor--it's basically a straight line from Ottawa to Kingston. That whole corridor is basically empty land especially SW of Smiths Falls. It would actually make a perfect route for a Toronto-Kingston-Ottawa HSR whenever we get around to that.
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  #40  
Old Posted Jan 14, 2014, 3:03 AM
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I think about 1/3 of all traffic enters/exits at the 401/416 interchange, so it makes sense to have 1/3 of the lanes start/end here.

I agree that both 4-lane stretches should be widened. The Cobourg-Kingston stretch may have higher volumes than Tilbury-London, but I'm not sure which flows better. A lot of truck traffic and outdated designs can really affect this.

I recall the Ontatio Government stating that they want to widen the entire highway to a minimum of 6 lanes... One day .
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