By Joel Wittnebel/The Oshawa Express
A series of bridges that span Highway 401 in Oshawa and Clarington are set to be replaced.
In a letter sent to the City of Oshawa, the Ministry of Transportation (MTO) says they have obtained a consultant to move ahead with the environmental assessment process involved with a series of projects in Oshawa, including the replacement of the Simcoe Street and Albert Street bridges over the major highway.
Along with that MTO also plans to replace the Bennet Road bridge in Clarington, rehabilitate approximately 22 kilometres of pavement, rehabilitate the twin structures over the Oshawa Creek, replace the north and south retaining walls along Simcoe Street and Albert Street underpasses, and extend both the Drew Street westbound on-ramp, and the eastbound Bloor Street exit ramp.
The repaving work is slated to run from 900 metres west of Stevenson Road to Highway 35/115.
Details about the timing for each part of the project were not available, but according to Astrid Poei, the communications coordinator with MTO, the work is expected to begin in 2019 and will take into consideration future plans for the major commuter artery.
“The new bridge structures will be designed to accommodate the future expansion of Highway 401,” she states in an emailed response to The Oshawa Express.
This means that the new bridges will be both longer, wider and higher than the existing structures in order to accommodate the future widening of the highway.
The bridge work follows on the heels of MTO’s recent demolition of the Henry Street bridge over the 401, which closed the highway overnight on June 18. Construction is expected to be completed on the new bridge by the end of 2017.
Henry Street from the Whitby GO Station to Albert Street will be closed for the duration of the construction, and is slated to reopen in September.