Posted Oct 23rd 2012 6:00PM
The Gardiner Expressway has been an iconic part of Toronto's skyline since construction of it began in 1956. It begins (or ends) where the Don Valley Parkway ends and spans across our entire city to where it becomes the Queen Elizabeth Way. More than 200,000 vehicles use the Gardiner Expressway every day, though its original design capacity was only for 70,000. Needless to say, it's a very busy route and it is not uncommon for traffic to be gridlocked in both directions.
The problem lies in the fact that the highway itself may be a hazard. Entire sections of the highway are deteriorating and are in need of dire repair despite constant upkeep. According to an independent study of the highway, this poses a 'significant safety hazard.'
In the past year, several large chunks of concrete have actually fallen from the Gardiner onto Lakeshore Blvd. below . This is due to the erosion that occurs due to water seeping into the highway's concrete exterior. The water (often saturated with salt) causes the steel supports to rust and also causes damage when the water freezes in the winter time. This water expansion and rust weakens the integrity of the concrete and is the cause of the concrete falling.
This summer, City engineers have been chipping away and repairing any loose bits of the highway that they find. The off ramp at Jarvis on the Eastbound side is now closed so that the highway can be repaired.
Is it enough? According to the report, there is not enough that is being done to ensure the safety of drivers and pedestrians alike. The Gardiner is a raised highway that runs over the Lakeshore in sections. Toronto city Counselor Denzil Minnan-Wong said an additional $20 million in capital spending will be requested by city staff to pay for better investigation techniques and repairs on the nearly 60 year old road.
The independent report also points out, it is impossible to eliminate the risk of falling concrete because of the age of the Gardiner
Click here for our look at the Top 5 worst roads, bridges and tunnels in Canada.
News Source: Huffington Post Canada
Image Credits: Juni Bimm - 2012