City staff have revealed three options for the ‘hybrid’ Gardiner Expressway, which would replace the existing highway from Jarvis Street East to the Don Valley Parkway.
One version has “tighter” ramps, meaning the off-ramp would be closer to the highway itself. The second option moves the Cherry Street portion of the Expressway further north with changes to existing speed limits. The third version is similar to the second, but would include rail bridge widening.
Staff stressed that council must make a decision quickly, as planned interim repairs will only “extend the service life” of the expressway until 2020.
The decision is also dependent on an environmental assessment, which has not yet been completed. Staff said they would be seeking council’s endorsement in “early 2016.”
Based on earlier Gardiner debates, a quick turnaround may not be likely.
Toronto city council narrowly approved the reconstruction in June, voting against tearing it down completely or repairing it.
The vote passed 24-21 with the support of Mayor John Tory.
At the time, Tory called the Gardiner “an issue that has been around for decades.”
The Public Works and Infrastructure Committee will meet on Tuesday to discuss the report.
A closer look at the options:
Hybrid option No. 1
Cost: $260 million
- The eastbound and westbound Gardiner on/off ramps would be moved from Logan Avenue to Cherry Street, creating development and green space opportunities along Lake Shore Boulevard east of the Don River,
- The existing elevated Gardiner and DVP ramps would be retained, with a design speed of 80 km/h and posted speed limit of 60 km/h,
- A new at-grade ramp access road on the north side of the Keating Channel would be constructed, and
- Lake Shore Boulevard would have its own right-of-way east of Cherry Street, as per the Keating Precinct Plan.
Hybrid option No. 2
Cost: $350-400 million
- Replace the elevated expressway east of Cherry Street in a more northern alignment,
- Reduce the Gardiner–DVP ramps to a lower design speed of 60 km/h (proposed posted speed of 50 km/h) from the current 80 km/h ramp design speed (a posted speed limit of 60 km/h), and
- Place Lake Shore Boulevard beneath the new expressway link to maximize available development parcels and green space in the Keating Precinct, and facilitate ramp connections between Gardiner and Lake Shore Boulevard.
Hybrid option No. 3
Cost: $380-440 million
- Improve the direct connection to/from the Don Roadway,
- Positioning the new eastbound Gardiner off-ramp at Cherry Street to the north side of Gardiner/Lake Shore Boulevard eastbound lanes to better facilitate development and open space on the south side of the eastbound Lake Shore Boulevard lanes (this positioning of the eastbound off-ramp could also be done with concept No. 2), and
- Partially opening Lake Shore Boulevard to daylight east of Munition Street, while stacking it beneath the new expressway west of Munition Street to Cherry Street.