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Have been doing some work in Windsor this weekend and it looks like the HWY 401 11-km 3-lane expansion from Tilbury to Merlin Road is fully complete. Last time I had come down was July and I had observed that despite all lanes being open, there was still work ongoing with some sections of the concrete median barrier, sealants on some sections of the road, overhead signs, and the Tilbury sound barrier.

Now, it’s all finished. Looking forward to the next phase starting hopefully soon.
 
Yea, it was fully open in July when I drove through. Annoyingly, they didn't extend the 110 limit into the new section.

Next phase of the 6-laning is scheduled to be southwest of London, extending down to Union Rd.
 
410 extension to Hwy 9 might seem compelling but expensive. Could Hwy 10 be converted into a RIRO with relative ease?
RIRO is likely the better response, particularly through the Credit River valley. It would improve safety and travel times while having a pretty minimal impact on the environment over an all-new road corridor up to 400-series standards would, and would also likely be a fraction of the cost.

You would need bypasses of Victoria and Caledon Village though.
 
A Caledon Village bypass was originally proposed instead of the four-laning that was actually completed. That required moving the historic township hall away from the road.

RIRO may not be completely necessary, though the problems on Highway 10 are left turns at unsignalized intersections and the potential for head-on collisions.

I think a hard centre divider, combined with signalizing all intersections with fully protected left turn phases and requiring U-Turns to get to driveways or minor roadways should suffice. The one intersection that will require a complete rethink is Forks of the Credit Road, as it’s right at the bottom of a steep hill. Either grade separate it, or close it to/from northbound traffic.
 
410 extension to Hwy 9 might seem compelling but expensive. Could Hwy 10 be converted into a RIRO with relative ease?
Yes they should 100%. Something smiliar to the Morriston bypass design. 2 lanes in both directions with concrete medium. Access roads on the side and grade separate. MTO has to stop with the either they build a super highway with a 100m ROW or nothing at all.
Screenshot_20231030_170535_Chrome.jpg
 
In the case of HWY 10, I don't think that stopping at a RIRO is good enough - it easily has the traffic to justify a full new freeway. Using the MTO iCorridor Tool, you can see that the 2019 AADT across the corridor between Brampton and Orangeville ranges from 23,000 to 40,700, which is comparable to the QEW between Niagara Falls and Fort Erie. For perspective, MTO starts to consider the construction of a freeway once AADT passes 10,000. The numbers are likely significantly higher than this now.

I think the province is ultimately going to end up extending HWY 410 on a new alignment instead of converting HWY 10, given that the province is going through all the effort to build a new alignment to meet HWY 413. You wouldn't have to deal with the issue of having to bypass Caledon Village and create access/service roads for all of those properties that front HWY 10, but it would be a new build highway and subsequently very expensive. I do agree that MTO should be looking at more compact designs similar to the Morriston Bypass to save cost. Large grassy medians are nice for future-proofing, but sometimes it makes more sense to keep it compact when property values are so high.
 
In the case of HWY 10, I don't think that stopping at a RIRO is good enough - it easily has the traffic to justify a full new freeway. Using the MTO iCorridor Tool, you can see that the 2019 AADT across the corridor between Brampton and Orangeville ranges from 23,000 to 40,700, which is comparable to the QEW between Niagara Falls and Fort Erie. For perspective, MTO starts to consider the construction of a freeway once AADT passes 10,000. The numbers are likely significantly higher than this now.

I think the province is ultimately going to end up extending HWY 410 on a new alignment instead of converting HWY 10, given that the province is going through all the effort to build a new alignment to meet HWY 413. You wouldn't have to deal with the issue of having to bypass Caledon Village and create access/service roads for all of those properties that front HWY 10, but it would be a new build highway and subsequently very expensive. I do agree that MTO should be looking at more compact designs similar to the Morriston Bypass to save cost. Large grassy medians are nice for future-proofing, but sometimes it makes more sense to keep it compact when property values are so high.
The question then becomes "is a RIRO adequate for current and future traffic?"

If most of the traffic does not pass King St or Olde Base Line Rd, then a RIRO to Orangeville will (depending on growth there) be enough for traffic. 25,000 AADT will work fine as a RIRO, though if you are going to the trouble of a new right of way, you might as well not have any property access.

Also, the 413-410 interchange does not look as though it is designed for future extensions. But the interchange nerds will probably be able to comment more on this than I can. A new ROW would be in the MTO style though.
 
In the case of HWY 10, I don't think that stopping at a RIRO is good enough - it easily has the traffic to justify a full new freeway. Using the MTO iCorridor Tool, you can see that the 2019 AADT across the corridor between Brampton and Orangeville ranges from 23,000 to 40,700, which is comparable to the QEW between Niagara Falls and Fort Erie. For perspective, MTO starts to consider the construction of a freeway once AADT passes 10,000. The numbers are likely significantly higher than this now.

I think the province is ultimately going to end up extending HWY 410 on a new alignment instead of converting HWY 10, given that the province is going through all the effort to build a new alignment to meet HWY 413. You wouldn't have to deal with the issue of having to bypass Caledon Village and create access/service roads for all of those properties that front HWY 10, but it would be a new build highway and subsequently very expensive. I do agree that MTO should be looking at more compact designs similar to the Morriston Bypass to save cost. Large grassy medians are nice for future-proofing, but sometimes it makes more sense to keep it compact when property values are so high.
AADT for the 35/115 RIRO ranges between 25k-35k and it generally works fine. It's when traffic gets to around the 50k-60k mark that things start to become too much for RIRO, as seen in Hwy 11 south of Orillia. Yes, 10k is generally considered the minimum to justify a freeway, but that doesn't automatically mean it's the best or most effective approach in a given situation to default to. There are many corridors that sit near or above 10k and the province is fine in many cases leaving them as 2 lane or 4 lane undivided hwys (not that I don't think they should be upgraded):

Most of Hwy 12
Many sections of 48 (mind you, paralleling the 404 as well)
Hwy 9, especially approaching the 400
7/8 west of KW
8 and 24 south of KW
17 between North Bay and Sudbury
89
and more...
 
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11 south of Orillia is in the 40k range and generally works fine, outside of peak sunday afternoons on summer weekends, when daily traffic probably jumps to closer to 70-80,000. Hwy 10 doesn't have peak travel periods like 11 experiences. I imagine a RIRO expressway with a direct connection to the 410/413 interchange bypassing Victoria would work fine for 40-50 years.

AADTs over 15,000 is when 2-lane roads really start to break down functionally. 10-15k they are very busy but typically still operate without "congestion", unless they experience high peak periods (i.e. 12 through Beaverton has issues with cottage traffic).


one thing to remember when building a grade separated freeway is that they often have lower AADTs than local highways as local traffic doesn't use them as much. Building a freeway bypass of 10 south of Orangeville may result with a freeway with an AADT of 15,000 and 10-15,000 vehicles still using the old 10 alignment. This happened between Brantford and Ancaster for example after the 403 was built in the 1990's - the old 4-lane Hwy 2 retained a lot of the local traffic.
 
The one thing I don't like about RIRO when it is done after the fact is it leaves failed abandoned businesses in its wake, that either sit forlornly rotting into the ground or turn to low rent non-highway front usage, because now they mostly only benefit from one direction of travel. A new ROW that draws off a lot of traffic probably does the same thing, we just don't see it. Hwy 11 between Barrie and Orillia and Hwy 35/115 are, to me, embarrassing.
 
The one thing I don't like about RIRO when it is done after the fact is it leaves failed abandoned businesses in its wake, that either sit forlornly rotting into the ground or turn to low rent non-highway front usage, because now they mostly only benefit from one direction of travel. A new ROW that draws off a lot of traffic probably does the same thing, we just don't see it. Hwy 11 between Barrie and Orillia and Hwy 35/115 are, to me, embarrassing.

The QEW had a lot of this when it was converted from a divided at-grade highway to a full freeway with service roads, particularly in Stoney Creek and Niagara Region. You see it too on Highway 400 north of Highway 12 where the two-lane Highway 69 was twinned and turned into a freeway. Highway 7 between Norwood and Perth and Highway 69 north of Nobel are littered with abandoned gas stations and restaurants.

RIROs aren’t necessarily to blame.
 

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