ABOVE: Global’s Mark Carcasole with some tips for drivers looking to avoid traffic chaos this weekend
TORONTO – Getting around town this weekend might be a little hard with the closing of the Don Valley Parkway.
The DVP will close at 10 p.m. tonight for annual spring maintenance.
Crews will be on pothole patrol, fixing guide rails, inspecting overhead signs and cleaning 500 catch basins.
Weekend-long maintenance closures for seasonal maintenance are regular occurrences on the Don Valley Parkway and Gardiner Expressway, though they’re never convenient, and many drivers feel there must be a better way.
A spokesperson for the city of Montreal tells Global News closing a major street route for any reason is out of the question there.
“What we would do is, if we would close the east portion, we would then make sure that it would be a two-way,” spokesperson Jacques-Alain Lavallée said.
“The west portion would be a two-way street or vice versa for the northbound or southbound streets. We would make sure that there would be a split and that we would only take care of one portion of the street and leave at least a couple of lanes open so the traffic can still go through.”
There was never a full closure put into place when crews in Chicago resurfaced the heavily-used Lake Shore Drive in 2012. Instead they worked on one lane at a time, and never during peak hours. It took about 2 weeks; much longer than the 18 hours the DVP will be closed for this weekend.
Toronto Transportation officials argue that the Parkway needs to be considered differently, though. It’s more like a highway operated by the city, which isn’t so common.
“Our comparison is really to the Highway 401,” says Miles Curry, Director of Toronto Transportation Services. He points out that the 401 regular sees closures just as grand in scale as this weekend’s DVP closure, but that it’s not nearly as noticeable because “they have the benefit of a core Collector, Express lane system.” If work is being done in the Collector lanes, traffic can be diverted to the Express lanes and vice-versa.
In the absence of that remedy, Curry says the city is relying on alternate routes that run through the city.
“Don Mills, Vic Park, Bayview, we have adjusted the traffic signal timing. We are increasing our patrol to prevent and stop any illegal stopping or parking or construction activity. We want to make sure we maintain those capacities.”
The DVP is scheduled to reopen at 6 a.m. on Sunday.
Motorists can use Don Mills Road, Bayview Avenue, Victoria Park Avenue, and Kingston Road as alternative routes during the closure.
Citizens are also being encouraged to use public transportation as an alternative.