PUSLINCH - The Highway 6 enhancement project kicked off with council receiving the preliminary design of the new interchange which will be located on the Hanlon Expressway between Wellington Road 34 and Maltby Road.
Maltby Road and Wellington Road 34 would no longer access the Hanlon.
Following public input on the design of the new interchange, the project will move on to creating the final design and construction can begin in late 2022.
The Ontario government moved forward with its plan to enhance Highway 6 between Guelph and Hamilton this past July by issuing a request for proposal (RFP) procurement package to design and build the Highway 6/Hanlon Expressway midblock interchange.
At the township’s council meeting on Wednesday, Tim Sorochinsky, manager of planning and preliminary design for the American engineering firm, AECOM, presented phase two of the project.
It begins with the detailed design and environmental study of the proposed new midblock interchange.
The first phase of the improvements project that has been constructed was the replacement of the Concession Road 7 bridge over Highway 401.
The preliminary design includes the following project overviews:
- A new interchange on the Hanlon Expressway and a new road to connect the new interchange to Concession Road 7 and to Wellington Road 34;
- Removal of the signalized intersection on the Hanlon Expressway at Wellington Road 34 and the addition of a new bridge over the Hanlon Expressway for Wellington Road 34 traffic;
- Reconstruction of Concession Road 7 between Wellington Road 34 and Maltby Road;
- Closure of the Maltby Road / Concession Road 4 intersection with the Hanlon Expressway;
- A new roundabout at the Wellington Road 34 / Concession Road 7 intersection;
- Installation of new overhead sign structures, traffic signals and partial illumination;
- Emergency and maintenance vehicle turnarounds along the Hanlon Expressway – one north of Maltby Road and one south of Wellington Road 34.
Sorochinsky stated during his presentation that this project will help alleviate congestion on local roads by enhancing Highway 6 between Guelph and Hamilton and to bypass traffic around Morriston.
The elimination of congestion will occur from Wellington Road 34 to Hanlon Expressway.
Seeley and Coun. Matthew Bulmer expressed their concerns on traffic mitigation when Wellington Road 34 becomes an emergency detour route in case Highway 401 is closed off due to an accident.
“The statement that the OPP will be doing traffic mitigation in the case of Wellington Road 34 acting as an EDR is what bothers me because that’s not the case,” said Seeley.
“If you have all the traffic heading south on the Hanlon and everyone’s going to the West and the intersection, there will be heavy traffic along Wellington Road 34 and through the township, and we don’t get any support from the OPP or the contractors.”
Seeley and Bulmer would like a controlled intersection on either side of the new midblock interchange.
“Our design is based on the projected traffic volumes in the area, and we design for the worst case hours in the morning and the evening, which helps confirm the number of lanes required, if signals are needed at particular intersections,” said Sorochinsky.
“However, it does not consider the worst case scenario when functioning as a detour. We will take the comment and look at that more.”
Township CAO Glenn Schwendinger also noted that the Highway 6 portion did have the required acceleration and deceleration lanes, but there seem to be none on the lanes North of Maltby and South of Wellington Road 34. He recommended including the required acceleration and deceleration lanes for emergency vehicles in the design.
During the construction of the new interchange, the existing at-grade intersections of Wellington 34 and Maltby Road will remain open. It’s anticipated that Highway 6 in Hanlon remains open to traffic during the entirety of construction.
There may be some occasion of overnight full closures of the lanes, and there may be short-term single lane closures during construction, noted Sorochinsky.