Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Work on Duffy's Lane

The plan had been, originally, for P-Doug and I to head up to Bolton on Saturday, get shots of the work on the new bridge, coming down this time from the north end of the work. I also had in mind to finally take some shots of the Glasgow Road pony truss that's still in service.

As it turned out, Saturday was heavily rainy and we called it off. Instead we wandered to the pub and then to see the new movie, Prisoners. Strange, disturbing picture where no one's ox goes ungored; I can recommend it. But, as usual, I digress.

So I backed it off to Sunday, which promised to be sunny, but chilly. P-Doug had plans so at the last minute I managed to get Larry to come along to man a second camera.

We parked up at what is now the north "end" of Duffy's Lane; that is, as far south as you can drive coming from the north. Beyond that, we headed down on foot with an eye to seeing what work they'd done in the north end, and eventually what progress they'd made on the bridge. (Note: you can click on the images here to see somewhat larger versions of them.)

Looking south past the barrier.

Looking back north along the section of Duffy's Lane still open to vehicle traffic.

Looking southward from beyond the barrier.

Looking back northward at the barrier.

It was around the time we got to the point indicated in the three photos above that a couple of things occurred to us. One was that we were about to run out of pavement, and beyond that was mud, mud, mud. I already ruined one pair of sandals here in this clay-based muck. In other circumstances, I would have kicked them off and carried on barefoot. But Sunday it was uncomfortably cool, and the mud must have been clammier still. In short, heading further was off the table for that day.

The second thing we realized was that there was now a large open area on the east side (on the left in the shots above, which face south). I noticed little flagged pegs sticking out of it, and I made a quick assumption it was going to be some small subdivision... maybe townhouses just off Duffy's Lane. But then I realized the open area stretch from the bridge construction, just out of sight to the southwest, to the height of land to our northeast. And I got it: the road wasn't just going to cross a new bridge and then resume its course. It was taking a new course. And the little connector we were standing on wasn't just a momentary convenience for the construction machines... it's going to be the way you turn off the new course to get onto Duffy's Lane. And anything south of that point was about to vanish. I didn't need to see a map... I was as sure as I could be.

Seen from the little connector road, as far into the mud as we dared to go, this view looks to the northeast, and shows the open stretch of the new road course

Heading further south a few dozen yards to the end of the pavement, I managed to cross a drainage ditch and get between the old course and the new course, which you see above. This view looks off to the northeast, and will take traffic in the direction of Highway 50, which runs north and south parallel to Duffy's Lane.

This is a zoom shot of the same view. You can see how the road turns and heads pretty much due east.

This view looks southwest toward the new bridge, out of sight behind the rise.

Seen from the end of the pavement on Duffy's Lane, this composite panorama looks southeast, with the new road course running across the image, and the old course seen there on the right.

This composite view of the new road course, taken between it and the old (behind me), shows the road coming up from the river out of sight on the right, and off to the northeast on the left.

In the part of Duffy's Lane between the new access connector and where the new road course now cuts through it, the Humber Valley Heritage Trail crosses. Formerly, folks heading east would emerge from the forest, above (Duffy's Lane is just behind me in this view)...

...and, making sure no traffic was coming, they'd cross Duffy's Lane, walk north a few yards, and resume the trail on the east side. Usually that pile of earthworking dirt isn't in the view.

From now on, they won't have to do this. At least, not here. This part of Duffy's Lane will never see car traffic ever again. It's about to disappear completely.

The view above is a composite panorama, facing east. This is where people walking the trail come out onto Duffy's Lane. This view is about to disappear.

These three views, above, look north toward what will soon be the curving connector that will take cars to and from the bypass. The part of the road we're standing on has seen its last traffic. My guess is it will be de-surfaced, planted with trees, and made just a few more yards of the Humber Valley Heritage Trail. Come back in a year and a half in the spring of 2015 and reshoot the bottom photo, and you'll be standing at the south edge of the curve, with the road behind you gone.

These views face north, returning to where we parked.

When I arrived home, I decided to check it out, and sure enough, I was right. Peel Region has planned this as a bypass, to come up from Coleraine Drive, connect to Duffy's Lane, cross the new bridge, crest the hill, and then cross what is now open field eastward to connect to Hwy 50 (or "Regional Road 50", as it's now more correctly referred to). The idea is to take people right around Bolton, and the choke points on Queen Street (Hwy 50) at the King Street intersection. Click image below for enlarged version.

So, we'll be out there every week or two while the weather's good. This construction work is supposed to go on till December next year. I'm hoping to get some good shots of it for people in the future. Given how many shots I actually have in and around the area, I think there's a good foundation.

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