From Christina Commisso at the Milton Canadian Champion
Main St. to close for construction. Motorists are advised to expect delays and lane restrictions as construction on the Main Street underpass begins. Graham Paine/Canadian Champion
Milton drivers may be in for some traffic delays as the first two of five planned Main Street weekend closures get underway next month.
Monday town council approved the closures to accommodate construction work for the $49 million Main Street underpass.
Main Street East between Ontario Street and about 10 metres east of the CPR tracks will shut down at midnight Saturday, May 5 and reopen at 5 a.m. Monday, May 7 as construction crews remove the existing tracks and install temporary ones.
The intersection will close again the following weekend from midnight Saturday, May 12 to 5 a.m. Monday, May 14.
Three future road closures are anticipated for the underpass — which is Milton’s costliest infrastructure project — two in summer 2013 and one in 2014.
Engineering Director Paul Cripps said all closures will occur on weekends for the least impact on traffic, especially for those making their way to and from the Milton GO Station.
Detour routes north of the tracks are planned for Wilson Drive and Woodward Avenue and south of the tracks drivers will be redirected along Childs Drive and Lauier Avenue.
“This project will be very disruptive to Miltonians for some time,” said Mayor Gord Krantz. “But there’s never a good time to close a road like that. When it’s all finished people will ask, ‘Why didn’t you do it 100 years ago?’ They’re probably right, but there was no money to do it.”
Long-term lane restrictions on Main Street East began earlier this month with one lane in each direction and a shared turning lane between the Milton Mall entrance and Wilson Drive.
Construction is ongoing on the temporary mall parking lot at the Nipissing yard and temporary streetlights have been installed at the mall entrance and Wilson Drive.
The underpass is expected to be complete by fall 2015.
The Thompson Road underpass was officially opened in October 2008 following three years of construction and $28 million — which at the time was the Town’s most expensive capital project.