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Stouffville Rail Corridor Grade Separations

Stouffville Rail Corridor Grade Separations - Your Feedback

A project of this size and complexity means that changes will occur in communities and some communities close to where infrastructure is being delivered may feel impacted by it. Hearing from you is important to us. We want to make sure we are delivering maximum results with minimum disruption to the community. Public feedback was collected regarding the Stouffville Grade Seperations TPAP from February to December 2020.

The table below provides a snapshot summary of the main topics we've heard in Round 1 of public consultation and what we are doing about it. View the full Round 1 Engagement Summary Report.

What We Heard

What We’re Doing About It

Concerns about the potential noise, vibration, traffic, property and natural environment impacts of the proposed infrastructure, including the grade separated tracks.

Metrolinx has developed a conceptual design to determine the optimal configuration proposed infrastructure, reviewed background information, and conducted field investigations to determine baseline environmental conditions.

This information has been used to inform the impact assessment and develop mitigation measures to address environmental impacts.

Find out more in the Studies, Impacts, and Mitigation section.

Advice to ensure that the proposed Havendale Road multi-use crossing options are safe for all users.

To maintain pedestrian and cyclist connectivity, Metrolinx is considering options for the new multi-use crossing to either pass over or under the rail corridor (through a new bridge or tunnel). Based on ongoing discussions with the City of Toronto, Metrolinx is obtaining TPAP approval for both bridge and tunnel options.

Find out more on Havendale Road Crossing Options panel in the Proposed New Infrastructure section.

Interest to learn about the anticipated construction timeline

Construction for all grade separations has an anticipated duration of six years (approximately 2022 to 2028, subject to change).

Construction of each individual grade separation is anticipated to last up to two years (could start as early as 2022, subject to change).

Find out more in the Anticipated TPAP Timeline section.

 

View the public materials from the February 2020 Open Houses, including meeting boards and Info Sheets.

Round 2 of public consultation was held online from August 18 to September 1, 2020. The table below provides a snapshot summary of the main topics we've heard in Round 2 of public consultation and what we are doing about it. View the full Round 2 Engagement Report.

What We Heard

What We’re Doing About It

Questions about the potential noise, vibration, traffic, property and natural environment impacts of the proposed infrastructure, including the grade separated tracks.

Metrolinx has reviewed background information and conducted field investigations to determine baseline environmental conditions. The baseline conditions were used as the basis for measuring the potential environmental effects of the proposed works and to inform the identification of appropriate avoidance or mitigation measures which were built into the conceptual design.

The majority of technical reports were posted to Metrolinx Engage for review as part of Public Consultation Round 2. The remaining technical reports and Environmental Project Reports were released for public review during Round 3.

Construction Noise/Vibration

The Project has the potential to result in noise and vibration effects during construction from detours (e.g., operation of the road and rail corridor detours during construction) and Project construction activities (e.g., heavy equipment operation, piling driving, etc.).

As recommended in the Construction Noise and Vibration Assessment Report, Metrolinx will require the Constructor to develop a Construction Noise Management Plan which will outline mitigation measures to limit effects.

Operational Noise and Vibration studies are being undertaken as part of a separate process. Please visit the GO Rail Network Electrification Addendum project website for more information.

Traffic

Construction activities such as site preparation, temporary laydown areas, and roadworks will result in partial sidewalk and road lane closures that may temporarily impact pedestrian, cyclist and vehicular travel times, turning movements and access to properties.

Metrolinx will require the Constructor to prepare a Traffic Control and Management Plan to maintain reasonable access through work zones, to the extent feasible. Metrolinx will coordinate the applicable municipality to determine appropriate changes to traffic signal timings during construction.

To mitigate the potential effects to pedestrian and cyclist activities during construction, Metrolinx will ensure the appropriate wayfinding, regulatory and warning signs are installed.

As transit routes will also be affected, Metrolinx will work with local transit agencies to establish a suitable mitigation strategy. Metrolinx will also ensure that the public is notified in advance of any potential service disruptions.

Property

Temporary and permanent property impacts are anticipated as a result of the Project and will be confirmed during the detailed design stage. In advance of each of the Public Meetings, Metrolinx has reached out to potentially impacted property owners via letter, door knock and/or phone to discuss the specifics of any property requirement. Metrolinx will continue to communicate with impacted property owners as the Project progresses.

Natural Environment

The Project has the potential to result in permanent and temporary effects during construction (i.e., loss of vegetation along the corridor right-of-way, effects on wildlife due to anticipated vegetation removal, accidental collisions). The potential for effects during operation will be limited, once permanent infrastructure is established.

Metrolinx has developed a Vegetation Guideline to guide compensation and permitting/approvals for any trees requiring removal or injury as a result of the Project. All applicable bylaws and regulations for tree removals outside of Metrolinx properties will be adhered to. For vegetation removals, Metrolinx will also consider and mitigate potential impacts to migratory birds, Species at Risk, and features, e.g., Designated Natural Areas and Significant Wildlife Habitat.

Prior to construction, Metrolinx will require an investigation of the Project Footprint for wildlife and wildlife habitat will be undertaken to confirm findings of previous surveys, as appropriate. If wildlife is encountered, measures will be implemented to avoid destruction, injury, or interference with the species, and/or its habitat.

Metrolinx will require that buffers established during detailed design be maintained during construction to minimize potential negative impacts to wetlands (Kennedy Road) and waterbodies (Progress Avenue). Metrolinx will also require that any in-water works will be planned to respect timing windows to protect fish, including their eggs, juveniles, spawning adults and/or the organisms upon which they feed.

Find out more in the Studies, Impacts, and Mitigation section.

Advice to ensure that the proposed Havendale Road multi-use crossing options are safe for all users, that an elevator be considered and for Metrolinx to reconsider the closure of Havendale Road.

As part of a previous feasibility study, Metrolinx assessed the potential for a new road over rail or road under rail grade separation at Havendale Road, in addition to road closure. Because of the significant property and neighbourhood impacts associated with a grade separation, a road closure was determined to be the preferred option.

Metrolinx considered feedback received to date and remains in discussions with the City of Toronto regarding the type of multi-use crossing that will be implemented. Both the bridge and tunnel options are evaluated in the Environmental Project Report to obtain TPAP approval for both options as previously committed by Metrolinx.

Find out more on Havendale Road Closure with Crossing panel in the Proposed New Infrastructure section.

A suggestion to consider constructing the grade separations before increasing rail service

Metrolinx is planning the Stouffville Rail Corridor Grade Separations project in support of the increased train service along the rail corridor proposed as part of GO Expansion. The grade separations are anticipated to be completed prior to the commencement of the 15-minute two-way all-day service. Safety at level crossings is important. See how Metrolinx ensures safety at level crossings.

Stakeholder concerns about the proposed public access roads at Progress Avenue.

Based on the potential property impacts along Progress Avenue, Metrolinx met with affected property owners to gain a better understanding of existing and future planned operations of the properties.

Based on feedback received, the design has been updated to include two public access roads to the south of Progress Avenue that will end in ----de-sacs.

A new entrance will be provided to service the property north of Progress Avenue and east of the rail corridor.

Metrolinx will continue to engage the property owners, and proceed with negotiations for property acquisitions required to complete the Project. Find out more in the Progress Avenue panel in the Proposed New Infrastructure section.

Stakeholder concerns about the proposed public access roads at Passmore Avenue.

Based on the potential property impacts along Passmore Avenue, Metrolinx met with affected property owners to gain a better understanding of existing and future planned operations of the properties.

The accesses proposed to the east of the rail corridor would maintain functionality of the properties. No changes are proposed.

The access to properties north of Passmore Avenue and west of the rail corridor was modified to improve access to existing businesses.

Metrolinx is continuing conversations with impacted business owners at Passmore Avenue to confirm a solution that best supports the continued operation of those businesses.

Find out more in the Passmore Avenue panel in the Proposed New Infrastructure section.

View the public materials from the August 2020 Virtual Public Meeting, including meeting boards and information.

Round 3 of public consultation was held online from November 27 to December 11, 2020.

  • New information that was presented in Round 3 included:
    • Completed environmental studies for Socio-Economic and Land Use and Stage 1 Archeological Assessment; effects and mitigation for Transportation; construction sequencing recommendations; and
    • Updates to the preferred design at Progress Avenue.

The table below provides a snapshot summary of the main topics we've heard in Round 3 of public consultation and what we are doing about it. View the public materials from Round 3 of consultation. View the full Round 3 Engagement Report.

What We Heard

What We’re Doing About It

Feedback about the Havendale Rd closure/multi-use bridge crossing:

  1. provide an elevator – long ramps could be challenging for people with strollers or people using wheelchairs
  2. reconsider closing the cross – it may be needed in the future when Agincourt mall is redeveloped

As part of a previous feasibility study, Metrolinx assessed the potential for a new road over rail or road under rail grade separation at Havendale Road, in addition to road closure. Because of the significant property and neighbourhood impacts associated with a grade separation, a road closure was determined to be the preferred option.

Metrolinx has considered feedback received to date and remains in discussions with the City of Toronto regarding the type of multi-use crossing that will be implemented. The multi-use crossing will be compliant with the requirements of the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act (AODA), 2005.

Both the bridge and tunnel options are evaluated in the

Environmental Project Report

to obtain TPAP approval for both options as previously committed by Metrolinx.

Stakeholder concerns about the proposed Progress Avenue Road Overpass and its impacts to the local businesses' driveways.

As part of a previous feasibility study, Metrolinx assessed the potential for a new road over rail or road under rail grade separation at Havendale Road, in addition to road closure. Because of the significant property and neighbourhood impacts associated with a grade separation, a road closure was determined to be the preferred option.

Metrolinx considered feedback received to date and remains in discussions with the City of Toronto regarding the type of multi-use crossing that will be implemented. Both the bridge and tunnel options are evaluated in the Environmental Project Report to obtain TPAP approval for both options as previously committed by Metrolinx.

Find out more on Havendale Road Closure with Crossing panel in the Proposed New Infrastructure section.

A suggestion to consider constructing the grade separations before increasing rail service

Metrolinx is planning the Stouffville Rail Corridor Grade Separations project in support of the increased train service along the rail corridor proposed as part of GO Expansion. The grade separations are anticipated to be completed prior to the commencement of the 15-minute two-way all-day service. Safety at level crossings is important. See how Metrolinx ensures safety at level crossings.

Stakeholder concerns about the proposed public access roads at Progress Avenue.

A road over rail was selected for Progress Avenue as the preferred option, as a road under rail would be impracticable due to the West Highland Creek. Metrolinx has met with affected property and business owners to gain a better understanding of existing and future planned operations of the properties and will continue to work with business owners as the design progresses. Where driveways are affected, alternate access will be provided.

The proposed design will mitigate rainfall events, by diverting the water into the catch basins. The proposed Progress Avenue bridge and Access Road bridge will be free from flooding for all storm events up to and including the Regional Storm event. This will be a significant improvement for vehicular movement during rainfall events.

Metrolinx will continue to work with impacted properties as the design progresses.

Consider adding space for cycle tracks or bike lanes on the proposed Denison Street Road-Under-Rail grade separation.

Metrolinx is working closely with the City of Markham and York Region capital works staff on early design plans. Discussions are underway with the City of Markham regarding the widening of the sidewalk.

What is the budget for this project?

Final costs, dates and schedule will be determined through the procurement process and will be announced once the contract is awarded.

Will Finch Ave East have a grade separation in the future? And how does GO Expansion fit with SmartTrack?

The Finch Avenue grade separation is an early works project and has been approved through a previous TPAP. This grade separation is part of the GO Expansion early works, and more project information will be available soon.

There is close coordination of all projects in order to unlock the benefits of GO Expansion. Station upgrades, new stations and projects that will enable to larger GO Expansion program, have been previously assessed, and are closely coordinated through procurement and construction.

To stay informed about the Finch Avenue grade separation, and other projects in your area, contact [email protected] .

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