Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Gardiner Expressway feels its age

#Toronto runs on the goods and services that roll into (and out of) the city on the transportation arteries that cut a mighty swath through the land of new condos. Highway 401 rules the north, the 427 and Don Valley/404 conquer the west and east and the Gardiner Expressway is king of the lake shore and downtown Toronto. Oh, the Allen Expressway is like the little prince of no-where. When the highways work, the trip through the city is fast and efficient. During rush hour periods, construction work or traffic accidents the trip becomes a hell on earth.
It has been reported that the elevated expressway could be unsafe to drive on in less than a decade. Maintaining the aging infrastructure will cost billions and take years, even as regular maintenance continues on the rest of the structure. In a shocking turn of events the City is considering demolishing the Gardiner or selling the Gardiner and turning it into a toll road. City services are expensive and that is part of the reason why taxes are high and go up every year. However, to abandon the highway is to admit that the city cannot handle its infrastructure and maybe they should get out of the way and let another form of government take over.
Maintenance crews inspect and work on a shut down Gardiner Expressway
A patchwork quilt of concrete repairs mark the surface of the elevated Gardiner
Buildings are given a little nudge to slide in as close to possible 
Can Toronto do without the Gardiner Expressway? Of course - as long as something else takes its place!
Everything requires routine maintenance and everything has a service life which will necessitate replacement, even those pretty condominium glass windows which fill the skyline. If the city wanted to be less dependent on the arterial roads they should have built more transit and high speed rail networks feeding into and within the Greater Toronto Area (GTA).

Plus, if they get rid of the Gardiner I will cry.

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