Friday, August 10, 2007

Lower Don Trail Almost Ready

Last night I went down the Lower Don Trail to see how the construction was progressing. Even though there is still a fence across the path just south of Queen St., part of the fence has been knocked aside allowing for egress to the south. As I cycled along this part of the path I noticed that it has temporarily been adopted by street people who are literally camping beneath the Eastern Ave. bridge. They may be in for a surprise when cyclists start breezing by en masse next week.

I continued south to the north end of the construction site. It had previously been cordoned off but the barrier has been removed. The site was deserted so I couldn't resist sneaking in for a quick peek at what was happening and snapped a few photos. The site has been graded prior to landscaping and the path itself hasn't been repaved. I expect that to happen in the next couple of days. The new at-grade underpass was visible as well as a widened river channel.

I noticed that Val Dodge has also blogged about the reopening on Torontoist. While the powers-that-be have agreed to allow traffic to resume along this section, there won't be an official opening ceremony until things look nice. Maybe VD and DW will get together for an unofficial opening ceremony!


Old path looking south towards railway bridge

New trail underpass on right, newly excavated river channel on left

Tunnel to Don River Park won't be opened for another year

3 comments:

Anonymous said...

From Waterfront Toronto Friday August 10, 4.15pm


NEWS UPDATE



TORONTO AND REGION CONSERVATION & WATERFRONT TORONTO

Are happy to announce that the Don River Trail between Queen Street East and the Martin Goodman Trail
will be officially reopened in the morning of Saturday August 11, 2007.


When you have the opportunity to use this section of the trail once again, we hope that you will notice the:
1. Significant widening of the railway crossing over the Don, which has been undertaken to improve the conveyance of flood water through this area;
2. Enhancements to the trail crossing underneath the new bridge extension which will improve sight lines and visibility for trail users, reduce the path's gradient as it goes underneath the railway bridge, widen the pathway for increased safety, and elevate the pathway to reduce the frequency of inundation during high river levels; and
3. Location of the new trail crossing under the tracks that follow the west bank of the Don River. This new crossing will connect the Don River Trail with the future West Don Lands Community and Don River Park. This new crossing will remain closed to the public until the Don River Park has been completed to the west of the tracks, sometime in late 2008 - early 2009.

Users of the trail during the week of August 13 to 20 will also notice some construction occurring along the west bank of the river on the north side of the new railway bridge. Construction crews will be using small excavators and bobcats to complete a new outlook in this area which will give trail users a safe and excellent view of the river. During this period of time, trail users are asked to use CAUTION when travelling down this section of the trail in order to avoid the machinery, and to respect the direction of safety personnel on site.

Trail users may also notice a barge and divers in the Don River underneath the railway bridge during the week of August 13 to 20. Divers will be cutting away the last pieces of steel sheets that formed the original river bank prior to the start of this project.

Orange snow fencing will installed on either side of the trail and left on site until October 2007. These fences will be used to reduce traffic onto the exposed soils bounding the trail, which cannot be planted until cooler and wetter conditions prevail in September. We ask that trail users respect these fence lines to ensure that the site remains undisturbed until TRCA nursery crews are able to complete the plantings on site.

We apologize for the delays in the reopening of this section of trail but we hope that everyone will enjoy the changes that have been made.

ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS
We would also like to thank CN, GO Transit, Hydro One, the City of Toronto, Ontario Realty Corporation, Group Telecom, Rogers Cable, Toronto Terminals Railway, Toronto Hydro, Toronto Economic Development Corporation, the consultant team of Totten Sims Hubicki, UMA Consultants, and the Concreate USL team for working so hard over the last 2 years to make this complex project a success. We would especially like acknowledge the efforts of our dedicated members of the Community Liaison Committee and everyone else that had attended our consultation events throughout the planning process for the Class Environmental Assessment (EA) for the Lower Don River West Remedial Flood Protection Project , 2003.

The first component of the Class EA, the railway bridge extension, is nearly completed. Component 2 identified in the Class EA, the Flood Protection Landform, is being led by the Ontario Realty Corporation on behalf of Waterfront Toronto and TRCA, and is currently underway in the West Don Lands which is scheduled for completion in late 2008.

If you have any other comments or questions, please feel free to contact Ken Dion at kdion@trca.on.ca .

Val Dodge said...

I'd actually considered standing below the Queen Street bridge Saturday morning with cookies and balloons to celebrate the official opening.

Sadly, I have other commitments tomorrow and am unable to do anything beyond enjoying my ride along the path on my way downtown tomorrow.

Still, this definitely deserves a celebration of some sort.

Paddy said...

Rode all the way down the trail today (on the way to the Islands...in the rain!) and it was great! Still one narrow spot under a bridge, but other than that, very smooth all the way. :)