Saturday, November 24, 2007

A trip down the valley

On Saturday, November 17, 2007, Hamilton's Red Hill Valley Parkway opened to the public. On the books for over 50 years, in the works for over a decade, the expressway hurdled provincial underfunding, federal interference, and the objection of a sizable local minority to finally be completed this year. At long last, Hamilton Mountain is served by a circular controlled-access route from the QEW-403 combo comprised of the Lincoln M. Alexander Parkway ("the Linc") and the RHVP, supplemented by by the new Highway 6 bypass to John C. Munro Hamilton International Airport. The RHVP provides an access between the QEW and the Mountain, without having to drive clear through downtown and up through Ancaster via the 403. The hope is that it will facilitate the growth of light industry around the airport. With the decline of the steel industry and the city's fortunes over the past 25 years, this opportunity was sorely needed.

I was fortunate to be in the city that day, and privileged to be among the first people to drive it. Starting up on the Mountain, I took the Linc to the new parkway (it starts where the asphalt goes from ten-year-old grey to month-old black on the big curve), down to the QEW, and then back again. So, accompanied by Froggy's Lament from Buckner & Garcia's album Pac Man Fever, let me take you on a quick tour of the province's newest expressway. Ride shotgun, seeing through my camera's eye. You've got a ticket to ride! (Do you care?) :)

[N.B. By the way... the first 10 seconds or so are black; that's deliberate, so bear with me. You'll see what I mean. ;) ]

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