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  #1  
Old Posted Jan 4, 2014, 5:09 PM
MolsonExport MolsonExport is offline
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The 401

the world's busiest highway deserves its own thread.

Fantastic photo resource for the Beast, including shots from as far back as the 50s: http://www.thekingshighway.ca/Hwy401index.htm

The basketweave:

thekingshighway.ca
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  #2  
Old Posted Jan 4, 2014, 5:11 PM
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Another shot of the basketweave (wikipedia):



it will get you.
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  #3  
Old Posted Jan 4, 2014, 5:15 PM
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The mother of all intersections (not the 401):

desktopwallpapers.ru

The Judge Harry Pregerson Monster of Los Angeles. The 401 rules the roost, but when it comes to intersections, it is hard to beat the Judge.
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  #4  
Old Posted Jan 5, 2014, 5:24 PM
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There aren't too many roads like it, are there?
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  #5  
Old Posted Jan 5, 2014, 5:54 PM
sa230e sa230e is offline
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And it's only getting better:

Video Link
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  #6  
Old Posted Jan 5, 2014, 10:39 PM
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Yep the 401 extension to a planned border crossing is going to be a big plus for the highway.

Other improvements planned/proposed? These are the ones I am looking forward to:
-4 to 6 lane widening between Tilbury and London (maybe in a decade)
-Cloverleaf replacement at Highway 4 (I use this often, scary as hell)
-New interchange with Wonderland Road (should reduce use at Highway 4 too)
-Some goddamned connections to Highway 8 in Kitchener (401 EB to 8 NB, 8 SB to 401 EB)
-Widening from Highway 8 to 24, and maybe some more to Highway 6 and eventually to 407ETR
-Collector / express widening to continue west in Mississauga
-Some widening / reconstruction in Toronto, needs every little bit it can get
-Improvements / widening for 407E connectors
-HOV lanes coming

Spots on the highway I hate:
-As previously mentioned, the Highway 4 cloverleaf
-Just east of Highway 8, where it seems like the volume doubles. All that extra traffic has to merge, too.
-Bottleneck on 401EB where the collectors end just before Highway 427 by the airport (WB seems to flow better)
-Slowdowns around Allen Road (improvements slated for this area)
-Bottleneck on 401EB where the collectors end by Brock Road (WB seems to flow better)

I don't often drive on the 401 east of the Durham region so can't really comment on what's going on there, but the widening in Kingston looks nice.


I don't know how many of you watch South Park, but in one episode they visit Canada which only has one road. I often joke that this one road is the 401 due to its volume and the fact that it doesn't really have any decent alternative routes.


If only the highway looked like this every day:


Also let's get a high speed rail line to roughly parallel the 401!
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  #7  
Old Posted Jan 6, 2014, 1:25 AM
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I personally am looking forward to the new Lakeridge partial interchange, I'll actually use that. (its getting built as part of the 407 extension) I just wish it was a full interchange, that would make getting to Ottawa much easier.

Ontario could certainly use HSR though that is for sure. I'd also rather have all day GO to Kitchener than have the 401 upgraded to 4 lanes all the way there. I'm fine with the widenings in Kitchener and through Mississauga though.

My wish list for the 401 is:

Fixing of the bottleneck in Pickering

Fix the damn 404/DVP overpass, that thing is a horrid bottleneck

make the highway 8 interchange a full interchange

make the Franklin Boulevard interchange a full interchange

Last edited by Innsertnamehere; Jan 11, 2014 at 5:19 PM.
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  #8  
Old Posted Jan 11, 2014, 7:11 AM
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I don't see it being widened between Tilbury and London for several decades. I drive that stretch every week and the traffic just doesn't seem to warrant it. Would make it so much safer if it was widened with a concrete median though.
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  #9  
Old Posted Jan 11, 2014, 5:18 PM
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Thats the whole reason MTO wants it widened, to increase safety. Its the reason they widened it to Tilbury in the first place. They eventually want it 3 laned from the 416 to Detroit.
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  #10  
Old Posted Jan 11, 2014, 6:11 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Innsertnamehere View Post
Thats the whole reason MTO wants it widened, to increase safety. Its the reason they widened it to Tilbury in the first place. They eventually want it 3 laned from the 416 to Detroit.
The old 'carnage alley' section was 1950's vintage MTO roadway. The median was narrow enough to jump. It couldn't have been more than two or three meters in some places. The section from Tilbury to London is better than how the Windsor to Tilbury section used to be. The median is much wider and deeper, the shoulders are paved and it's in decent shape. Traffic is pretty good. I doubt it's enough to justify six lanes. It's not a very bad section of road. Just your standard four lane rural Ontario freeway.

I don't see how they can justify a widening. I've heard (and correct me if I'm wrong) the widening to 6 lanes between Windsor and Tilbury wasn't even justified, either. Apparently the cost of putting up a median barrier was high enough they figured it would be worthwhile to add the extra lane.

I agree with Blitz, personally. I don't think the MTO will widen it for a very long time. It just don't think it would be a good use of money. There are more pressing projects which should get priority.
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  #11  
Old Posted Jan 11, 2014, 10:42 PM
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401 widening looms for Cambridge-Kitchener stretch

http://www.therecord.com/news-story/...hener-stretch/

-----

Quote:
Originally Posted by Innsertnamehere View Post

Fixing of the bottleneck in Pickering

Fix the damn 404/DVP overpass, that thing is a horrid bottleneck

make the highway 8 interchange a full interchange

make the Franklin Boulevard interchange a full interchange
401 bottleneck in Pickering will be fixed over the next few years with 407E upgrades for the highway.

404/DVP overpass technically isn't part of the 401, but it does cross it.

There were plans to complete the 401/8 interchange, but they were scrapped likely due to funding issues (such as dedicating funds to the new project I linked).

Some plans for Franklin Boulevard, but still not a full junction: http://www.highway401-hespeler-halto...ternatives.pdf

-----

Regarding the stretch between Tilbury and London, widening will allow for a tall-wall and an extra lane to pass all that truck traffic. The amount of trucks drops off west of the 402 but is still pretty insane. Having them take up both lanes passing one-another is the worst and causes a lot of tailgating behind them. Pretty unsafe that people don't leave enough space.
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  #12  
Old Posted Jan 12, 2014, 4:58 AM
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^ That's the most frustrating part. Truck speeds are limited so it takes forever for them to pass each other. I know the eventual plan is to widen it but I don't see them giving our region much of anything in terms of infrastructure dollars anytime soon.
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  #13  
Old Posted Jan 12, 2014, 1:52 PM
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The bottleneck in Pickering is probably going to get worse before it gets better with the completion of the 407E. The backup at Salem Road might not be as long once the 407 is completed, but I think the ramp from the WDL to the eastbound 401 is going to clog operations through Whitby for the foreseeable future.
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  #14  
Old Posted Jan 12, 2014, 4:23 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sonysnob View Post
The bottleneck in Pickering is probably going to get worse before it gets better with the completion of the 407E. The backup at Salem Road might not be as long once the 407 is completed, but I think the ramp from the WDL to the eastbound 401 is going to clog operations through Whitby for the foreseeable future.
Don't you think 407E will take some stress off the 401? Isn't that the whole idea of the project in the first place? Upgrades to the 401 and having a new parallel (although tolled) highway should help improve 401 traffic flow.

I'd love to see the collector-express system extended to the WDL, 10 lanes to EDL and 8 lanes to 35/115, but seeing the amount of time and money it took to expand ~2km of highway to a C/E system in Mississauga this is pretty much a pipe dream at this time.

-----

Speaking of the expansion in Mississauga, has there been any new news on this? Last I saw the next extension is planned for 'beyond 2017' but it didn't note if this is when construction will start or if this is the planned opening date. I haven't seen any funding/contracts for phase 2 either.
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  #15  
Old Posted Jan 12, 2014, 6:44 PM
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MTO is currently doing a study to widen the 401 to 10 lanes all the way to Courtice & 8 lanes to highway 35, that would be the real way to fix it. They should probably extend the express-collectors system but I don't think there is the space for that.

beyond 2017 means construction will start before 2017 but it won't finish until later. Its like with the 427 extension, projected opening isn't until 2020 or so. Highway 7 Twinning is like that as well.
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  #16  
Old Posted Jan 12, 2014, 7:46 PM
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Is there even enough room to go 10 lanes on that stretch? There's a couple spots thru Whitby and Oshawa that are already tight as hell with 6 lanes and there doesn't seem to be much room for widening.
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  #17  
Old Posted Jan 12, 2014, 8:10 PM
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all you really need is 7 meters on each side of the highway to add 2 lanes, its express / collector systems that take up a lot more space.
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  #18  
Old Posted Jan 12, 2014, 8:29 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.
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  #19  
Old Posted Jan 12, 2014, 8:41 PM
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  #20  
Old Posted Jan 12, 2014, 8:44 PM
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Yeah, that looks awfully tight in places.
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