Anyone travelling in or out of Toronto's west end this weekend will have a major road closure to contend with.
Sections of the Gardiner Expressway will be closed for required roadwork.
“The Gardiner generally takes about 160,000 vehicles per day, so it's a significant closure,” says Myles Currie of the City of Toronto's Transportation Services.
The westbound Gardiner Expressway will be closed from Carlaw Avenue to Jameson Avenue. The eastbound Gardiner Expressway will be closed from York/Bay/Yonge exit to the Don Valley Parkway.
The closures begin at 2 a.m. Saturday and will continue until 5 a.m. Monday.
“If we're ahead of schedule we'll open it sooner,” says Currie. “That's always our goal. But with the amount of work we've got scheduled this weekend, we may need the full closure time.”
The primary reason for the closures this weekend is to do extensive deck repairs, but that's not all crews will be doing.
“In addition to the road repair we're going to be working on our traffic signal cameras, making sure we have all the connections, clean the cameras coming up for the winter,” explains Currie. “There's still potholes out there that need attention, so we'll be working on them. There's a number of pieces of guardrail that have been damaged throughout the summer that we'll be repairing. And we'll be looking at our streetlighting in general to ensure there's no burnt-out lamps.”
Shutting down the Gardiner is a planned event that involves picking a weekend where there aren't too many sporting or special events happening.
Currie says the changing weather conditions are also a factor.
“We don't want to wait too long in the season. The weather could turn on us and we could get freezing temperatures. So this is the best weekend we could find at this time of year,” he explains.
Alternate routes for getting in and out of the downtown core include Lakeshore, Richmond, Adelaide, Queens Quay. Still, Currie says public transit may be a better option.
“If you're coming downtown and you can take a bus or a subway that's your best way to get around downtown this weekend.”