Tbnewswatch Local News
Sunday July 5 2015
5:28 AM EDT
2014-07-17 at 17:33

Expressway express?

An MTO public meeting on Tuesday will show potential Expressway upgrades, including new interchanges and divided roadway
Jamie Smith, tbnewswatch.com
An MTO public meeting on Tuesday will show potential Expressway upgrades, including new interchanges and divided roadway
By Jamie Smith, tbnewswatch.com

THUNDER BAY - Major changes to the Thunder Bay Expressway could happen one day and the Ministry of Transportation wants to be ready.

A meeting next Tuesday at the Boys and Girls Club will show the public the very start of a plan to one day have a four-lane divided highway from Arthur Street to Balsam Street with interchanges along the way.

MTO senior project manager Rick Inman said the study will look at the need for the upgrade, along with everything from interchange options to property requirements and median width.

"At the end of the study what we want to do is identify a preferred plan," he said.

"There's a whole range of factors that go into it."

It's similar to a study conducted in the late 90s that was never finished. While this study will take a look at some of the previous research, Inman said times have changed. The 90s plan eliminated intersections at Oliver and John Streets but new development might have put increased traffic in those areas. Flyovers would probably still happen somewhere though.

"We sort of have to pick and choose where we want the intersections and where we're just going to have sort of a fly over," he said.

There's no construction timeline or funding commitment. The study is more about the future of the highway Inman said.

The public meeting will be from 4 to 8 p.m.


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mystified says:
Other than the traffic lights on the expressway being timer controlled there is nothing wrong with what is there. The problem is the drivers.
In BC they just raises some highway speeds to 120km/h. Now everyone is travelling at 140km/h. Those in the outside lane move over when they approach a merge with traffic about to enter the flow. The police are cracking down on those who think they own the left lane and are issuing obstruction tickets. It has been determined that this practice of hogging the left lane causes road rage amongst other travellers. Some Tbay drivers would be dead in a minute if they tried driving in Toronto or Vancouver areas.
7/19/2014 12:14:17 PM
nvjgu says:
Doing 100 or more Km hr through a controlled intersection like what's at John St, Red River Rd , Balsam is the only Issue. Speeds need to be reduced to 60 going through them and not a buck twenty.
7/18/2014 2:59:03 PM
sonny_jim says:
An expressway express is much needed. It seems impossible to not hit every red light. There should not be a kilometer long stretch of cars waiting at a red light EVERY DAY. Some people in the transportation department or MTO need to synchronize these. The green lights seem to stay green for far too short a time.
7/18/2014 2:31:37 PM
rocketship says:
Lovely.... but I won't hold my breath on this one.

How about just installing advance red light warning signals. At 90km/hr folks aren't able to stop on a dime!!
7/18/2014 12:53:57 PM
youngintbay says:
Instead of wasting money just put concrete blocking in the middle for that stretch and worry about four laning the hwy west. make these hwys safer.
7/18/2014 11:28:42 AM
unknowncronik says:
we don't have enough traffic to warrant ANY of these new road projects,
but projects that we don't need seem to win out in this town!
backwards thinking wins again!!
7/18/2014 11:09:07 AM
tbaynorth says:
I hope they can actually complete this within their term. Hitting every red light on the highway causes undue wear and tear on vehicles as well as causing more pollution and traffic congestion.
7/18/2014 10:29:40 AM
fastball says:
Put in a cloverleaf or an overpass or a roundabout or SOMETHING - so you don't have to stop half a dozen times between Balsam Street and Arthur.
Those advance warning lights are a great idea as well - provided we can get the truckers and other motorists to NOT ignore them and attempt to blast through the yellow/red.
7/18/2014 9:26:29 AM
Idontknowitall says:
Most drivers in this city can't use a merge lane properly, or turn left into the nearest lane (hint - it's the LEFT). Should be interesting to see what they do with something like an interchange. I like the idea of advanced warning lights, but again, those tend to get translated to, 'I better speed up', and must send signals to many drivers' gas pedals. Drive safe, Thunder Bay.
7/18/2014 9:22:40 AM
fairlane says:
This is somewhat good news. But what I can't figure out is that when they had the time and money a few years ago, how did they end up building two left turn lanes on the expressway, but only one left turn lane on the harbour expressway heading southbound? There's far more traffic using that lane during rush hour. Let's hope that gets addressed
7/18/2014 12:22:03 AM
orca says:
Wow. Waiting for 5 minutes is not really heavy traffic for me.
7/18/2014 9:04:36 AM
Arch Stanton says:
Flyovers? Divided Highway? More pie-in-the-sky, anyone?

How about the MTO actually DO SOMETHING for once and put in some advance red light warning lights ahead of the trafiic light intersections?????!
7/17/2014 9:14:38 PM
cariboukid says:
This is actually exactly the same study that was commissioned in the early 90's, not late 90's. The project was a go but then unfortunately for everyone in the province, the conservatives got into office and the project, along with health and education funding was scrapped. Sad but true.
7/17/2014 7:59:39 PM
enos012 says:
Talk to the people instead of wasting more $$$. Four lanes are not needed on that stretch! Peoeple who are sloooooow need to stay riiiiigggghhhhtttt. When people are in the left and see someone coming up from behind they need to go into the right. They just spent how much making it a little wider and adding lights, to redo the work a couple years later? Seriously?
7/17/2014 6:17:20 PM
dan dan says:
People who are slow? By that, I assume that you mean people travelling at the posted limit or less - they should move over for the speeders?

The problem is not, and has never been, with people driving at the posted limit or less. The problem with the expressway is the rampant speeding.
7/18/2014 1:52:56 AM
Nwhewitson says:
It is not the job of drivers to police the speed of other drivers. We pay police MORE than enough to do that. When in the left lane and someone approaches from behind, make the lane change. In places where traffic moves far more effectively this is the norm and a failure to do so is -- in fact -- illegal. It's called obstructing traffic. People driving slower than the ambient speed of traffic flow are absolutely a huge problem. When two people are beside each other doing 85 and 30 vehicles are piled up behind them in both lanes, bumper to bumper, that's a problem. Having said all that, I still think interchanges are useless in Thunder Bay. People like Dan Dan know little enough about highway/freeway driving as it is. Can you imagine the people of Thunder Bay having to merge effectively at 100-110 km/hr at every intersection along the "Expressway?" Catastrophe.
7/18/2014 1:59:04 PM
humnchuck says:
You mean stopping in the middle of the on-ramp from Dawson onto the Expressway like I see every day isn't the way to do it? :)

Also witnessed someone in a minivan backing up along the on-ramp last week. Scary.
7/18/2014 5:22:24 PM
sonny_jim says:
Impeding traffic is impeding traffic. If you are in the LEFT lane and have 5 cars behind you, move over. Plain and simple. If you have people passing you on the right, then you should have already moved over. If you want to go slower than flow, take a bus.
7/18/2014 2:23:47 PM
Tbaybuddha says:
"People who are slow? By that, I assume that you mean people travelling at the posted limit or less - they should move over for the speeders?"

Yes. Yes they should.
7/20/2014 2:27:44 AM
Watchmaker says:
This has been talked about since I came to Thunder Bay 30 years ago. Will I see it before I retire? Maybe.

I have always thought they should have built the interchange at the Harbour Expressway at the time they constructed the extension....
7/17/2014 5:48:42 PM
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