Ontario Construction News staff writer
City of Barrie and provincial officials visited a south Barrie road extension construction site in early July, to announce a plan to spend $128 million on new road construction and infrastructure repairs this year.
One of the largest planned projects now underway is extending Bryne from Harvie Road to Caplan Avenue and it has been in the works since 2006 – taking 17 years from when the initial idea was presented to council until officials gathered to break ground.
Barrie-Innisfil Member of Provincial Parliament Andrea Khanjin says the “growing pains” of construction will create breathing room for the city in the future and relieve traffic congestion as the population grows.
“As we build more homes, we want to unlock that congestion,” Khanjin said. “This is becoming a big city and that means we’ve got a lot of challenges ahead of us, but none we can’t overcome.”
The city’s capital program for 2023 carefully balances road network expansion with improvements to existing roads. In all, 16 road construction projects are expected, along with paving 9.2-kilometres of roadways as part of the annual road resurfacing program.
Major road construction projects happening in Barrie this year include:
- Bryne Drive extension from Harvie Road to Caplan Avenue, which will support the new Harvie Road/Big Bay Point Road/Highway 400 crossing and improve traffic flow across the south end of the city. The south extension will be completed first and the scope of work incudes:
- Design for improved traffic flow parallel to Highway 400 with minimal environmental impacts
- Construction of a new five-lane roadway, with off-road bike lanes and sidewalks, sanitary sewer and a new watermain
- New stormwater management ponds
- Relocation of sanitary sewers at the Cedar Pointe Drive, Edgehill, Dunlop and Hart Drive area, to prepare for the Dunlop bridge replacement project.
Duckworth Street expansion to reconstruct the road and add a new watermain, sewer replacements, new sidewalks, new pavement, intersection upgrades, and bike lanes. Scope of work to be completed in three phases:
- reconstruct Duckworth Street from Bell Farm Road to St. Vincent Street
- new watermain on Grove Street from Duckworth Street to Nelson Street
- replacement of aging underground infrastructure and other infrastructure improvements
- Grove Street work includes new watermain, pavement and bicycle lanes
- project initiated in 2014 as a Class environmental assessment study to evaluate alternatives for implementing bike lanes and improved active transportation on Duckworth Street
Essa Road expansion and overpass will allow for easier highway access and safer pedestrian crossings. The Ministry of Transportation (MTO) will be constructing a new interchange at Essa Road and Highway 400, also widening Essa Road to six lanes. Work will include significant roadwork on highway 400, between Harvie Road and Tiffin Road, along with a widening of Essa Road to six lanes between Fairview Rd and Bryne Dr/Ardagh Dr.
MTO retained Stantec Consulting Ltd. to undertake the Detail Design and Class Environmental Assessment (Class EA) Study for the reconstruction of the Highway 400 and Essa Road interchange, including the replacement of the Highway 400 overpass structures at Essa Road.
Sunnidale Road sewer and watermain relocation work is needed to get ready for the bridge replacement. Work will be divided into three separate contract packages and will include a new bridge at the crossing of Sunnidale Road over highway 400. This construction project is being led by the Ontario Ministry of Transportation (MTO) as part of the replacement of three bridges on Highway 400 at Dunlop Street, Anne Street and Sunnidale Road. It includes significant roadwork on highway 400, generally from Anne Street to Bayfield Street.
The MTO retained McIntosh Perry Consulting Engineers to complete the detail design and class environmental assessment study for the replacement of three bridges on Highway 400 at Dunlop Street, Anne Street and Sunnidale Road.
New bridges will accommodate the future ultimate widening of Highway 400 through Barrie. Also included in the project is the reconstruction of the Dunlop Street and Highway 400 interchange, Highway 400 pavement resurfacing from Dunlop Street to north of St. Vincent Street, Bayfield Street ramp resurfacing, Highway 400 median barrier replacement, drainage improvements within the resurfacing limits, design of noise walls in the vicinity of Dunlop, Anne and Duckworth and provision for Highway 400 future full illumination.
“Investing in infrastructure and roads (is) one of the most important (pieces) of our mandate,” said Mayor Alex Nuttall. “There is road resurfacing happening around this city as we endeavour to fix the roads that have been in such rough shape for so many years.”
In addition, the city has 16 resurfacing projects on 9.2 kilometres of road on the go, to prevent deterioration and costly repairs in the future.