Expansion of the CN MacMillan Bridge Underway in the City of Vaughan

VAUGHAN, ON, April 24, 2014 /CNW/ - As part of the York Viva Bus Rapid Transit (vivaNext) rapidway project on Highway 7 West in the City of Vaughan, construction has started on the south side of the Canadian National Railway [CN] MacMillan Bridge, located west of Keele Street. The bridge surface will be widened approximately 8-metres to accommodate dedicated rapidway lanes, sidewalks and bicycle lanes, and is expected to be complete in 2016.

The bridge provides vehicle access over the CN MacMillan Rail Yard, the largest rail yard in Canada. Named after former CN president, Norman John MacMillan, the yard measures approximately 6.5-kilometres in length and 1.6-kilometres in width and was developed in the late 1950s as part of CN's redesign of the Toronto trackage network. The yard operates 24 hours a day, 7 days a week and handles over 1 million railcars per year to service local businesses in the Vaughan area, as well as the broader North American economy.

As part of the bridge widening, construction activities include: removing the existing walls and sidewalks on the south side and backfilling with 8,000 tonnes of earth; pouring 4,000 tonnes of concrete to build walls, columns, sidewalks and bridge decks; embedding 300 tonnes of reinforcing steel and completing the surface finish with new light standards and pedestrian hand rails.

During construction, rail yard operations along the 10 sets of tracks will be maintained, and the contractor will work closely with CN to coordinate activities around train schedules. The majority of the construction activity will happen below and underneath the bridge. Motorists will notice large equipment and construction vehicles such as large cranes, transport trucks, drill rigs and concrete pump trucks onsite for certain operations, including sub-surface drilling, pouring concrete and the installation of large pre-cast concrete sections.

In order to maintain traffic flow along Highway 7 during construction, the centre median was removed earlier this year and traffic was shifted to the north side of the bridge. To further minimize disruptions, an access road off of Highway 7 is also being constructed for equipment and deliveries. Due to the nature of this work, there will be noise and vibration around the work area. Noise and vibration monitoring will be conducted to ensure levels are kept within industry standards.

The first phase of the Highway 7 West rapidway in the City of Vaughan will extend 3.6 kilometres from Interchange Way/Edgeley Boulevard to east of Bowes Road. The project features three new rapidway vivastations, wider sidewalks, landscaped boulevards and transit connections to the Toronto-York Spadina Subway Extension and the York Region Transit Bus Terminal. As development and density continues in downtown Vaughan, the Highway 7 West rapidway will help create new destinations to live, work, shop and play.

As part of its currently funded projects, vivaNext is building approximately 35 kilometres of bus rapidways with 38 stations, an 8.6 km subway extension with six stations, an operations facility, two bus terminals and multiple park 'n ride facilities over the next five years across York Region. Combined with more mixed-use development along the Region's major corridors, these projects are supporting population and economic growth, while creating more inviting and welcoming places for generations to come.

The York Viva BRT project represents a $1.4 billion ($2009) transit infrastructure investment from the Government of Ontario, and is an example of The Big Move in action - Metrolinx's 25-year plan for an integrated and sustainable transit and transportation system in the GTHA. The project is being implemented by Metrolinx, an agency of the Province of Ontario. For more information about Metrolinx, visit metrolinx.com.

York Region Rapid Transit Corporation (YRRTC) is responsible for the planning, design and construction of the full vivaNext rapid transit network and related infrastructure to deliver on the transit priorities set out in the York Region Transportation Master Plan. YRRTC is a wholly-owned subsidiary and share capital corporation of The Regional Municipality of York. The vivaNext plan is a key component of the vision outlined by Ontario's Places to Grow Act, which aims to manage growth in a sustainable and environmentally-friendly way that enriches communities. For more information, please visit vivanext.com.

SOURCE Metrolinx vivaNext

For further information:

Danielle Hutson
York Region Rapid Transit Corporation
905-886-6767
danielle.hutson@york.ca

Vanessa Thomas
Metrolinx
416-202-5974
vanessa.thomas@metrolinx.com