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New major highway project in the works for the London-St. Thomas area - the twinning and extension of the St. Thomas Expressway from Highway 4 to its existing eastern terminus at Centennial Avenue. Stantec is doing the full design and EA. This is huge for the area and ties in with the HWY 401/HWY 4 interchange reconstruction project that should be starting soon, as well as a Centennial/Higbury Avenue realignment and widening project being undertaken by the City of St. Thomas, currently in the early stages. This will service the new industrial corridor that is emerging with Amazon Talbotville and the VW-PowerCo Battery Plant. It remains to be seen if there will be any extension eastward, but what is evident is that removing the designation for the long-planned eastward extension might have been short-sighted.

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The design for the new interchange at the 401 for additional context:
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Additional context regarding realigning and widening Highbury Avenue at the eastern terminus with Centennial Avenue (a separate project by the City of St. Thomas):
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The St. Thomas Expressway was built with the eventual twinning in mind. In the 1970s, the province was planning for a new city near Port Dover, which was only partially developed. So it’s interesting to see this finally happen.

And yet, there’s not even a bus between London and St. Thomas.
 
The St. Thomas Expressway was built with the eventual twinning in mind. In the 1970s, the province was planning for a new city near Port Dover, which was only partially developed. So it’s interesting to see this finally happen.

And yet, there’s not even a bus between London and St. Thomas.
This is very evident when driving on it, everything is already set up for a twin span. I am most excited about the realignment of the mess at Wonderland, Ron McNeil, and HWY 3 into an actual intersection.

There absolutely needs to be a bus running down to St. Thomas. I am really hoping that they end up running from the end of the future south BRT leg along Wellington.
 
I am most excited about the realignment of the mess at Wonderland, Ron McNeil, and HWY 3 into an actual intersection.

This was being planned by the county, but I would assume it would be cancelled with the Highway 3 twinning study.

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There absolutely needs to be a bus running down to St. Thomas. I am really hoping that they end up running from the end of the future south BRT leg along Wellington.

There are currently no plans for any bus service between London and St Thomas but who knows the demand generated by the VW plant may change this.

Ideally I'd love to see rail service restored one day all the way from London to Port Stanley. No issues drinking on the beach then if you live in downtown London.
 
Speaking of 2-lane expressways intended to be upgraded to full expressways at some point, Hamilton's Highway 6 widening study is also progressing. A public information meeting was held in November which indicates that the Province appears to intend to build interchanges along the corridor, and not simply provide a twinned roadway with signalized intersections:


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Some rather interesting options for the Upper James intersection:

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Speaking of 2-lane expressways intended to be upgraded to full expressways at some point, Hamilton's Highway 6 widening study is also progressing. A public information meeting was held in November which indicates that the Province appears to intend to build interchanges along the corridor, and not simply provide a twinned roadway with signalized intersections:


View attachment 483220
View attachment 483221

Some rather interesting options for the Upper James intersection:

View attachment 483222
Great to see, honestly, considering this will improve access to YHM and further stimulate the AEGD. However, as we ask more and more of the 403, I can’t help but think that the Mid-Pen (at least the 407-403 section thru Halton-Flamborough-Ancaster) was prematurely thrown out. I really don’t want to see the 403 widened up the mountain to accommodate the airports growth, as any effort/infra put into that could be used for public transport instead.
 
Speaking of 2-lane expressways intended to be upgraded to full expressways at some point, Hamilton's Highway 6 widening study is also progressing. A public information meeting was held in November which indicates that the Province appears to intend to build interchanges along the corridor, and not simply provide a twinned roadway with signalized intersections:


View attachment 483220
View attachment 483221

Some rather interesting options for the Upper James intersection:

View attachment 483222
Really great to see. If YHM is supposed to become the major secondary airport and industrial hub for the GGH, it makes sense to future-proof and build to accommodate that growth.
 
Ideally I'd love to see rail service restored one day all the way from London to Port Stanley. No issues drinking on the beach then if you live in downtown London.

It would be really convenient if there was a complete wye here.
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Trains could come into London, then reverse straight on to St. Thomas and Port Stanley. Without that you would have to first reverse back to the turn, slow down, and then go forward down to the coast. Maybe the low frequency of GO trains would justify just putting rail down the middle of Hamilton Rd but I assume we don't really do that nowadays. It wouldn't be so bad if the service to London was smaller DMUs (or hybrid DMUs with pantographs) and not the huge hulking train sets they currently use. Maybe electrify to Kitchener and then time DMUs to be at the platform for continuing passengers? Just replace the Kitchener trains first with hybrid DEMUs since we need to get more rolling stock going anyway for expansion? That way you won't have massive trains trying to navigate some sort of half assed rail on Hamilton Rd. Or even just to be faster getting up to the existing turn! Too many options.

This gap in St Thomas would need to be filled in but that's a no brainer. Right of way is preserved.


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They also both still have historic railway stations so just add some signs and PRESTO readers and your off to the races.
Yeah my main thing is just the rolling stock. Again, may be a good reason to give the Kitchener line DEMUs first. You can even still use the Bombardier cars on the Kitchener as well just introduce the DEMUs for the services to either past Brampton or past Kitchener.

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Use pantograph on the southern electrified portion then switch to diesel for heading into the "boonies".

Anyway rant over. 🙃
 
Great to see, honestly, considering this will improve access to YHM and further stimulate the AEGD. However, as we ask more and more of the 403, I can’t help but think that the Mid-Pen (at least the 407-403 section thru Halton-Flamborough-Ancaster) was prematurely thrown out. I really don’t want to see the 403 widened up the mountain to accommodate the airports growth, as any effort/infra put into that could be used for public transport instead.
Throwing out the Mid-Pen was and is the right choice to make - this year, next year and any year after that.
 
Throwing out the Mid-Pen was and is the right choice to make - this year, next year and any year after that.

Agreed. In this case the 'just one more lane bro' approach will work. 6 lane the 403 up to Highway 6 and call it a day. That should be sufficient to service the expanding Hamilton airport and is far cheaper and less disruptive vs building the Mid-Pen.
 
Agreed. In this case the 'just one more lane bro' approach will work. 6 lane the 403 up to Highway 6 and call it a day. That should be sufficient to service the expanding Hamilton airport and is far cheaper and less disruptive vs building the Mid-Pen.
Throwing out the Mid-Pen was and is the right choice to make - this year, next year and any year after that.
Firstly, I’ll say I’m not suggesting we go and start building highways through sensitive areas as if that isn’t a worthy consideration. I’m doing a mental balancing exercise of how to best manage needs and priorities, primarily to create better long term outcomes (at least for Hamiltonians) with minimal negative externalities- I’ll try to explain my logic.

I’d like to see better use of new infrastructure/ improvements to get people up the escarpment than to just widen a highway. I’m not sold on the idea of building a viaduct ontop the 403, as that’s what design I think of whenever 403 “widenings” are brought up. Just sounds like a money pit, and I can’t see alternatives being much better an idea. The highway literally scales a cliff for all intents and purposes.

I would rather we skip to making the viaduct transit infra and forgoing the Mid-Pen; that’s just me attempting to cover my auto capacity bases. For that, obviously the Mid-Pen has/had its own problems, but with the 413 in play, I’m thinking of how we can better spend “new highway” dollars to better leverage Hamilton’s few mountain access points, perhaps instead of on 413.

I can see how I’m asking for a lot here; I just don’t see widening/building atop the 403 as a good use of limited points of access to the mountain.
 
MTOs studies on the matter determined that widening the 403 was far less impactful over the long term. Building the Mid-Penn needs a bypass around Dundas to connect to the 401 in Milton or to the 407 east of Waterdown and that passes through a ton of very environmentally sensitive areas and needs a new crossing of the escarpment. Widening the 403 not only is a much more efficient route which is faster for most trips, but it’s far less environmentally damaging.

There is a small central median on the escarpment climb which could probably be converted to a 3rd northbound lane on the 403 pretty easily with minimal environmental damage. If MTO wants a new 4th climbing lane as well they can probably do it with a small retaining wall.

Remember as well that the 403 was built on a large embankment in the 1960’s - the existing slope to the west of the 403, although now well treed, is entirely artificial. The damage has already been “done” so to speak.
 
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MTOs studies on the matter determined that widening the 403 was far less impactful over the long term. Building the Mid-Penn needs a bypass around Dundas to connect to the 401 in Milton or to the 407 east of Waterdown and that passes through a ton of very environmentally sensitive areas and needs a new crossing of the escarpment. Widening the 403 not only is a much more efficient route which is faster for most trips, but it’s far less environmentally damaging.

There is a small central median on the escarpment climb which could probably be converted to a 3rd northbound lane on the 403 pretty easily with minimal environmental damage. If MTO wants a new 4th climbing lane as well they can probably do it with a small retaining wall.

Remember as well that the 403 was built on a large embankment in the 1960’s - the existing slope to the west of the 403, although now we’ll treed, is entirely artificial. The damage has already been “done” so to speak.
Thanks for the info, your always on top of providing great stuff (here and on SSP!) which I really appreciate.

I don’t think this entirely negates my suggestion for transit up the 403 in some capacity, but nonetheless I can see why there isn’t a better option to accommodate road volumes. Obviously the mid-pen has its issues, but if it doesn’t even solve a functional problem then there’s little point. I didn’t realize how extensive the work was to get the 403 up the mountain, but I see what you mean by the damage is already done… not to mention the construction of the long gone radial railway which, although on a smaller scale, likely did the same thing ~70 years prior. Might as well work with what we have.
 

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