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Mayor Column November 2016

2nd Concession Now Open! 

When York Region closed 2nd Concession in the fall of 2014, we knew we were in for a long, however much-needed construction project.

This wasn’t just a simple road closure but was actually three major improvement projects in one. The work consisted of:

  • Road widening and realignment, including new bridges over the Holland River and GO Transit train tracks, bike lanes and street lighting
  • Installation of water and sewer infrastructure
  • The construction of pumping stations as part of the York Durham Sewage System

In an effort to minimize disruption to those living, working and travelling in the area, York
Region incorporated the three projects into one job to limit future disruptions along the road.

Due to the large scale of work, this was the largest road project York Region’s Transportation Services department ever tendered and was 90 per cent paid for through growth related funding.

A number of changes and enhancements were made to this corridor during construction.
When York Region developed the project, East Gwillimbury Council expressed the need to have the Nokiidaa Trail cross below the road so pedestrians and cyclists could avoid crossing the busy street. Additional improvements also include a below grade train crossing, allowing the train to proceed without crossing the road and without blowing its whistle in the residential area.

One of my favourite parts of this project is the trail enhancements and interconnection between the Rogers Reservoir, Nokiidaa Trail and the future trail connections to the new Sharon development. Part of this project included the purchase of 35 acres of land by the Lake Simcoe Region Conservation Authority. The additional land enables hikers and cyclists to travel to Yonge Street on the Nokiidaa Trail and will help the future of the lake to lake trail system between Lake Simcoe and Lake Ontario. 

Part of the trail network includes the installation of a new boardwalk. Although it remains under construction, I had the opportunity to walk along the path and can easily visualize the exciting features we will see when it opens to the public next summer. It has been constructed out of Douglas Fir for its strength to endure wear and tear and Hemlock as its texture will blend nicely with the natural context of Rogers Reservoir.

This project has been collaborative from start to finish. York Region and Lake Simcoe Region Conservation Authority worked together to reduce environmental impacts to the Rogers Reservoir by designing engineered wetlands that filter stormwater run-off and provide opportunities for wildlife habitat.  Once it is all finished, you will see that the wetlands will be planted in a way so they visually integrate with the area’s natural surroundings.
There is still work to be done and final touches are to be completed by summer 2017. Work will include completing the bridges, landscaping and paving the top layer of the road. Please continue to be cautious when driving this area and be mindful that you are still in a construction zone.

I hope you have all enjoyed the road reopening as much as I have and will take the opportunity to walk or bike along the new trails when they open to the public this summer!