Gardiner Expressway closed all weekend for annual spring maintenance

The Gardiner Expressway is closed this weekend for annual spring maintenance, the city says.

Closure extends from Don Valley Parkway to Highway 427

The Gardiner Expressway is closed from the Don Valley Parkway to Highway 427 this weekend for annual spring maintenance and construction. (CBC)

The Gardiner Expressway is closed this weekend for annual spring maintenance and construction, the city says.

Mark Mills, manager of road operations for the city, said the closure extends from the Don Valley Parkway to Highway 427. The Gardiner, which was closed on Friday at 11 p.m., is set to reopen on Monday at 5 a.m.

Mills said the closure is necessary to keep the highway in a state of good repair.

Among other things, crews will repave about 15 lane kilometres of the road, an amount that means about 7,000 or 8,000 tonnes of asphalt will be used.

"We'll be doing a litany of maintenance work," Mills said.

The work includes replacing the asphalt on the ramp from Highway 427 to the eastbound Gardiner Expressway, where Mills said there were potholes.

Now is a good time to do the work before everyone heads back to work, he said. Doing the maintenance now, while there are fewer cars on the road, makes sense, he added.

"What we did find this year, because of COVID, traffic volumes are down in the city between 40 and 60 per cent," he said.

"Is there ever a good time time to close down the Gardiner Expressway? Probably not, but with the traffic volumes the way they are during this time, we thought it was a probably a good idea to get out there and do the work while the traffic volumes are low to minimize disruption and the congestion to the city," he said.

Mills said shutting the highway down for a weekend is the most cost effective and efficient way to repair it rather than fixing it in stages.

In a news release, the city said other maintenance work planned this weekend includes:

  • 8,000 metres of crack repairs.
  • 9,000 metres of line marking.
  • 60 metres of guide rail repair and replacement.
  • Overhead and ground sign inspections, replacement and maintenance.
  • Pothole repairs.
  • Mechanical sweeping and debris removal.
  • Graffiti removal.
  • Catch basin flushing and cleaning.
  • Bridge inspections and chipping.
  • Flushing of bridge joints.
  • Inspection, repair and replacement of "crash attenuation systems" that help cushion and redirect vehicles from barricades and barriers.
  • Inspection and repair of street lights.
  • Hydro pole replacement and repair.
  • Traffic camera inspection and repair.

City closes some major roads for ActiveTO

In other traffic news, the city has closed major roads in Toronto to allow residents to get outside and exercise amid the pandemic.

The following roads are closed until Sunday at 11 p.m.:

  • Eastbound lanes of Lake Shore Boulevard East from Coxwell Avenue to just south of Woodbine Avenue (Kew Beach Avenue).
  • Bayview Avenue from Mill Street to Rosedale Valley Road. 
  • River Street from Gerrard Street East to Bayview Avenue.