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York-Bay-Yonge exit on eastbound Gardiner Expressway closed permanently

Click to play video: 'York-Bay-Yonge Gardiner ramp closes permanently'
York-Bay-Yonge Gardiner ramp closes permanently
WATCH ABOVE: Gardiner Expressway ramp to York, Bay and Yonge Streets closed permanently – Apr 17, 2017

Just when you thought traffic in the city couldn’t get any worse.

The heavily-used eastbound Gardiner Expressway ramp to York, Bay and Yonge Streets closed early Monday morning.

The ramp is set to be replaced by a shorter one from the eastbound Gardiner to Lower Simcoe Street.

WATCH: York-Bay-Yonge ramp from eastbound Gardiner Expressway closes. Marianne Dimain reports.
Click to play video: 'York-Bay-Yonge ramp from eastbound Gardiner Expressway closes'
York-Bay-Yonge ramp from eastbound Gardiner Expressway closes

As part of the project, Harbour Street will also be widened from three to four lanes from Lower Simcoe to Bay Street in order to help with traffic flow and to improve pedestrian and cycling access to the waterfront.

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“This is a big undertaking. It will be disruptive. There is no doubt,” Toronto city councillor and public works chair Jaye Robinson said at a press conference earlier in the month.

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“But the Gardiner is crumbling and we need to address it.”

READ MORE: Toronto officials warn of ‘disruptive’ 2017 construction season

There will be periodic daytime closures of the centre lane of Harbour Street from Lower Simcoe Street to Bay Street between May 1 and June 15 from 9:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.

During construction, traffic signal timing on alternative routes will be adjusted to minimize congestion, and motorists will have access to downtown by exiting the eastbound Gardiner at the Jameson Avenue, Spadina Avenue and Jarvis Street ramps. Motorists will also be able to access the eastbound Lakeshore Boulevard from the eastbound Gardiner ramp at Spadina.

The project is set to run until January 2018, and is expected to cost about $30 million.

Work will take place Monday through Saturday from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. and sometimes overnight, pending city approval.

WATCH: Residents living in downtown Toronto’s City Place concerned with increased traffic congestion. Erica Vella reports.
Click to play video: 'Residents living in downtown Toronto’s City Place concerned with increased traffic congestion'
Residents living in downtown Toronto’s City Place concerned with increased traffic congestion

This is just one of the many construction projects the city has announced it will be undertaking, as Robinson said $700 million is being invested this year to fix 100-year-old watermains, crumbling bridges, roadways and streetcar tracks.

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Lane reductions are already in place on Wellington Street from Church Street to York Street. Work is expected to be complete by September.

The public can get further information on the City of Toronto’s construction projects here.

With files from David Shum

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