Buckle up, drivers. The city will unveil more details about the 2017 summer construction season today, including the permanent closure of what Mayor John Tory has called the York-Bay-Yonge "Hot Wheels ramp."
Coun. Jaye Robinson (Ward 25 – Don Valley West), chair of the city's public works and infrastructure committee, will discuss plans and schedules for the work at 10:30 a.m. today.
Commuters on the Gardiner have one more week to use the York-Bay-Yonge ramp before it is closed for good on Monday, April 17 at 5 a.m. The city estimates that 10,000 vehicles use what Tory back in April called the "Hot Wheels ramp" during peak hours. But it will be torn down and replaced with a shorter ramp that will take cars down to Lower Simcoe Street.
That ramp is expected to open in January.
Meanwhile, motorists will have to use the Jameson, Spadina and Jarvis ramps to get into the downtown core. Beginning today, they will also be able to get onto Lake Shore Boulevard from the eastbound Gardiner at Spadina Avenue.
As part of the ramp work, work crews will widen Harbour Street to four lanes between Lower Simcoe Street and Bay Street, to both accommodate car traffic and improve access to the waterfront for pedestrians and cyclists, according to a City of Toronto news release.
But while the construction is underway, Harbour Street will be reduced to two lanes of traffic in the area where the work is being done. Between May 1 and June 15, there will be some closures of the centre lane of Harbour Street from Lower Simcoe to Bay.
The work will take place between 7 a.m. and 7 p.m. Monday to Saturday, with some overnight work on weekends to demolish part of the ramp over Lower Simcoe and York streets, with additional overnight work possible.
Construction is expected to cost about $30 million — part of $312 million the city is investing in roads and bridges in this year's budget.