Report to: Development Services Committee Date Report Authored: June 22, 2010
1) That the report dated June 15, 2010 entitled “Box Grove Collector Road and Temporary Closure of 14th Avenue” be received;
2) And that the temporary road closure and diversion option to help facilitate the opening of the Box Grove Collector Road as outlined in this report, as recommended by staff, be endorsed;
3) And that the Regional Municipality of York be requested to approve the temporary road closure and traffic diversion option;
4) And that Staff be authorized and directed to do all things necessary to give effect to this resolution.
To seek Council’s endorsement to request The Region of York for a temporary closure of 14th Avenue west of Reesor Road to facilitate construction of a box culvert on 14th Avenue, the realignment of 14th Avenue, completion of the new Box Grove Collector Road, and the installation of a new rail crossing with Canadian Pacific Rail Havelock Subdivision (Kawartha Lakes Railway).
In April 2008, the Town executed the Box Grove Community Memorandum of Understanding Amendment No. 1 with the Box Grove developers and the Regional Municipality of York (“MOU Amend 1”) regarding, amongst other things, the construction of the Box Grove Collector Road (“BGCR”) as shown on Attachment ‘A’.
The section of BGCR north of 14th Avenue to about 50 metres south of the existing 407ETR Eastbound off ramp falls within the Box Grove Hill Phase 2B subdivision (19TM-030012), and is under construction by the Box Grove Hill Developments Inc. as part of its subdivision. This section is scheduled to be completed and opened to the public this fall.
Construction of the south section of BGCR (14th Avenue to existing 9th Line By-pass) requires careful coordination of a number of related components, including the realignment of 14th Avenue to intersect BGCR and the new at-grade C.P. rail crossing as noted in Attachment ‘B’.
The objective is to have the BGCR completed and opened to the public by the end of 2010. The 14th Avenue and BGCR intersection with C.P. rail crossing however will delay the completion of the roads due to safety concerns related to the skewed angle at the intersection and the lack of gates at the rail crossing.
Ideally, the realignment of 14th Avenue is to be constructed as the first phase to allow continuous traffic movement along the new 14th Avenue and to connect to BGCR to the north and south at the new intersection. However, the new 14th Avenue can only be opened if the at-grade rail crossing is completed. The time required for CP Rail to approve and the consultant to carry out the detailed design and to manufacture the at-grade crossing signal and control system is in the order of 9 to 12 months. It is therefore not feasible to have this crossing operational by year end. Without this crossing, the new 14th Avenue/BGCR intersection cannot be opened.
The culvert replacement on 14th Avenue west of BGCR will require closure of 14th Avenue for about 5 months. The engineering consultant for Box Grove Developers Group also evaluated a number of further road closure and diversion options to enable BGCR to be opened by year end. Options were evaluated based on safety, time delay, construction phasing, inconvenience to commuters, and costs.
Staff is proposing an option that will require the temporary closure of 14th Avenue from west of Ressor Road to east of Ninth Line (Box Grove By-pass) for 10 to 12 months, in order that BGCR can form a new T-intersection with the west section of the new 14th Avenue. The portion east of BGCR to Reesor Road will remain closed until the new at-grade rail crossing is completed (see Attachment ‘C’). There are no construction safety issues with this option. The only disadvantage of the temporary closure of 14th Avenue east of BGCR is the impact on longer distance commuters to and from Durham Region and emergency response vehicles. Approximately 400 to 500 vehicles travel on 14th Avenue in the peak direction during each peak hour and the total daily traffic is 4000.
Due to the importance of completing BGCR, staff is recommending that Markham Council request the Regional Municipality of York approve the temporary closure of 14th Avenue to enable the BGCR to be completed and open to the public by year end. The Region is considering this option but have concerns that there may be Markham residents opposing to re-opening 14th Avenue after it has been closed for an extended period.
The completion of the Box Grove Collector Road is an important component of the transportation network to service the growth in Box Grove. Building Markham Future Together (BMFT) identifies the importance of a complete transportation network to support growth management.