June 30, 2019 1:18 pm
Updated: July 2, 2019 6:19 pm

Heavy congestion expected when Don Valley Parkway bridge work begins July 2

WATCH ABOVE: Repairs along four bridges over the DVP will cause traffic problems for weeks and alternate routes aren't much better. Kamil Karamali reports.

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If you’re one of the many thousands of motorists who use Toronto’s Don Valley Parkway (DVP), prepare for a rude awakening once the holiday weekend is over.

Beginning July 2, road crews for the City of Toronto will begin an extensive rehabilitation project on four bridges over the DVP.

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The city warns the work will result in longer travel times and increased congestion over the next several months.

“It’s going to be a challenging drive on the Don Valley Parkway, there’s no sugarcoating that,” said the city’s chief of communications Brad Ross.

The bridges at Don Mills Road, Spanbridge Road, Wynford Drive, and Lawrence Avenue East will all be worked on.

The work will be done in two phases between July 2019 and October 2019, during which two lanes in each direction will remain open on the DVP.

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Ross said the work is being done in conjunction with the city’s $1-billion construction season on other roads and highways.

“We need to do this work now,” he said. “It’s not at an emergency state but we never want to get to that point.”

Instead of spreading the work needed on each bridge over the next few years, Ross said the decision was made to get it all done at once.

“Rather than doing that we decided to bundle all of those projects into one to get them all sort of done and over with,” said Ross.

And now the bad news.

In the first phase of construction which is expected to last until mid-August, the DVP lanes closest to the median on both northbound and southbound lanes will be closed between Don Mills Road to Lawrence Avenue East.

The HOV lanes between Wynford Drive to St. Dennis Drive will also be closed in both directions.

Overnight travel on the DVP will also be affected beginning in early August. For eight nights, two lanes in both directions will be closed at the Don Mills Bridge.

More lane restrictions will be added when the second phase begins near the middle of August, lasting until October.

READ MORE: Toronto city councillor wants rethink on shutting down DVP and Gardiner for events

On both sides of the DVP, the city said the shoulders will be closed at Don Mills Road, Spanbridge Road, Wynford Drive, and Lawrence Ave. East.

Overnight work will also close a single north and southbound lane at Don Mills Bridge over ten nights in September.

Getting on and off the DVP will also be a chore during this phase. The southbound on-ramp at Don Mills Road will be closed, along with the northbound and southbound ramps for Lawrence Ave. East. But the off-ramps will remain open.

The city is recommending drivers leave extra time for travel, use alternate routes, or consider public transit.

Ross also said with other road closures for projects like Leslie St. at Eglinton Ave. for work on the Crosstown LRT, congestion will be increased on the DVP’s parallel routes.

© 2019 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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