By Joel Wittnebel/The Oshawa Express
Crosstown traffic is about to get a bit more difficult for Oshawa drivers.
After a watermain replacement along Bloor St., east of Simcoe St. S., had business owners and residents crying foul over delays and disruptions to their business, and led to CAA naming it the region’s worst road in 2015, portions of the same road, west of Simcoe St. are about to get the same treatment.
As the Region of Durham continues to replace the watermain beneath the busy thoroughfare, residents can expect to see traffic delays starting this summer.
Most recently, the region sought approval from the city of Oshawa and the Central Lake Ontario Conservation Authority (CLOCA), to go ahead with the work that will see the watermain cross the Oshawa Creek in the area of the Bloor St. bridge near the Hwy. 401 offramp to Simcoe St. Due to the extent of the work, the region requires an easement over city-owned land north of the Bloor Street West bridge over the creek to allow the watermain to be built, and due to the potential impacts on the creek, CLOCA also put its stamp of approval on the project.
“We are hoping to tender this project very soon because there is a strict timing window where the construction to cross the creek must take place during the summer,” says Jim McGilton, the manager of environment services design with the Region of Durham.
When construction begins, drivers can expect to see traffic impacted along Bloor St. W. between Stevenson Rd. and Albert St., just west of Simcoe. However, the bigger impact will be felt when the construction hits the bridge and crosses the Oshawa Creek, causing Bloor St. and the Hwy. 401 off-ramp to Simcoe to be shut down for up to 16 weeks.
“The traffic plan has been developed to maintain at least one lane of traffic in each direction throughout the construction in all other areas,” McGilton states.