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Bradford West Gwillimbury

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FAQ - Line 5 Bridge Demolition & Replacement

Why is the Line 5 bridge over Highway 400 being replaced?
This project is necessary to meet the needs of current and expected traffic flow both on Line 5 and Highway 400. It will widen Line 5 from two to four lanes and, most importantly, make room for the expansion of Highway 400 running beneath the bridge. The existing bridge walls (abutments) are too close together to allow for additional lanes of traffic on Highway 400.

Why must the existing bridge be demolished before the new one is built?
Leaving the old bridge up while the new one is being built is not possible because of the location where the new bridge must be built and the order in which the work must be done.

The new bridge will be longer than the old one in order to span more lanes of traffic. Because of this, a centre pier must be constructed in the middle of the highway to provide support to the bridge. To create a safe work zone to construct the pier, the lanes of traffic on Highway 400 need to be shifted over; however this would not be possible with the existing bridge still in place because its walls are too close to the highway, and the arc of the bridge over the outside lanes would not allow clearance for large trucks. Therefore, the old bridge needs to be demolished before work can begin on the center pier.

What other options were considered that might have avoided demolition of the existing bridge prior to construction of the new bridge?
Several options were explored, including shifting the bridge farther north or south so that the old bridge would not be an impediment to the new construction, and building a temporary "Bailey" bridge to be used during the construction period. Unfortunately none of these options are feasible either due to costs or to existing features and constraints (such as a cemetery to the south and Sucker Creek to the north).

Can the bridge demolition be delayed?
Bridge demolition is required to complete the Line 5 Interchange project. Delay in demolition of the existing bridge would delay the opening of the Line 5 Interchange, but would not shorten the period of the closure.

When will the new Line 5 bridge be open?
The redesigned Line 5 Interchange including the new bridge is tentatively planned for opening by fall 2018.

Can't the construction of the new bridge be done in less than 18 months?
The new interchange was designed by and will be constructed by highly respected and experienced companies selected through a detailed RFP process. We are confident that the processes and timelines included in the project plan are appropriate to ensure the safe construction of a structure that will meet our current and future needs.

What detour routes can I take during the closure of the Line 5 bridge?
County Road 27, County Road 88 and Sideroad 10 are the designated detour routes during the project. Detour routes are identified using signs at the site, and maps are shown on the project website.

How will farmers access their fields on both sides of Highway 400 during the bridge closure?
Farmers can access their fields using designated detour routes and crossing Highway 400 either at County Road 88 or Canal Road. Detour routes are identified using signs at the site, and maps are shown on the project website.