TORONTO, Feb. 5, 2014 /CNW/ - An Environmental Assessment (EA) looking at the future of the Gardiner Expressway's eastern portion has completed its evaluation of the four options: Maintain the elevated expressway; Improve the urban fabric while maintaining the existing expressway; Replace with a new expressway; and Remove the elevated expressway and build a new boulevard.
The analysis has produced an assessment of the four options, which can be viewed here: http://www.gardinereast.ca/media-gallery
"We are now seeking further public input on the future of the Gardiner Expressway East, as we strive to find a practical and cost effective solution that will support Toronto's vital transportation needs well into the future, while balancing a number of important city-building priorities for residents and the city," said John Livey, Deputy City Manager for the City of Toronto.
"The EA presents us with an opportunity to decide how to deal with the significant and costly rehabilitation issues presented by this section of the Gardiner," said John Campbell, President and CEO of Waterfront Toronto. "This is a hugely important infrastructure project and represents a big investment for the city. We have a choice about how we can make the most of this investment for generations to come."
The Gardiner Expressway and Lake Shore Boulevard Reconfiguration Environmental Assessment and Urban Design Study, jointly undertaken by Waterfront Toronto and the City of Toronto, is looking at the future of the 2.4-kilometre elevated section of the Gardiner Expressway East and Lake Shore Boulevard East, from approximately Lower Jarvis Street to just east of the Don Valley Parkway (DVP) at Logan Avenue. The four options are being examined in light of the EA's goals, passed by Toronto City Council in 2009, which are:
- Reconnect the City with the Lake – Any reconfiguration of the Gardiner Expressway will need to include welcoming and accessible routes to the waterfront, breaking down the physical and psychological barriers that exist today.
- Balance Modes of Travel – Any new configuration of the Gardiner Expressway will need to support growth and maintain an effective local and regional transportation system, including commuters and freight, and minimize the impacts by balancing alternative travel modes, including transit, cycling and walking.
- Achieve Sustainability – This project should advance the City of Toronto's and Waterfront Toronto's commitments to green, healthy and energy efficient development, and employ sustainable design solutions that can improve environmental quality and biodiversity and minimize public health risks.
- Create Value – The future shape of the Gardiner Expressway should act as a catalyst for good development and contribute to an integrated, vibrant and successful waterfront. It is understood that any investment in the Expressway should be financially sustainable and maximize opportunities for revitalization and enhance economic and environmental benefits.
The results of the evaluation of the alternative solutions for the future of the Gardiner Expressway East Environmental Assessment will be presented at a public information session tomorrow night. This event offers the public an opportunity to provide feedback to the project team, after which City staff will draft a formal recommendation for the consideration of City Council based on this preliminary result.
The high level concepts for each of the four alternatives were developed by the EA project team following input collected during phase one of the public consultations and further analysis of each of the options. Each concept is illustrative of what could be created, but does not represent the final design.
The high level concepts and evaluation criteria are limited to the eastern end of the elevated Gardiner Expressway, which has lower traffic volumes than the western portion of the expressway. The western portion of the highway is already undergoing extensive rehabilitation and maintenance that will ensure the current elevated configuration will remain safe and in a state of good repair.
The Public Information Meeting will be held on Thursday, February 6, 2014 from 6:30 – 9:00 p.m. at The Bram & Bluma Appel Salon, Toronto Reference Library, 789 Yonge Street, Toronto (Bloor subway). Open house starts at 6:30 p.m.; presentations to follow at 7:00 p.m. Participants are asked to please register at: www.gardinereastpublicmeetingfeb6.eventbrite.ca
People unable to attend the meeting in person can participate online by watching the live webcast at www.gardinereast.ca or join the live twitter discussions at #GardinerEast.
A media kit, including a selection of the high level concept images is available at: http://www.waterfrontoronto.ca/newsroom
SOURCE: Waterfront Toronto
For further information: Media contacts: Andrew Hilton, Waterfront Toronto, [email protected], office: 416-214-1344 x263, mobile: 416-427-4613; Steve Johnston, City of Toronto, [email protected], 416-392-4391