Sunday, March 22, 2015

Bathurst Street bypass

About a year and a half ago, I was up in the Holland Marsh area exploring a section of Bathurst Street that was closed to traffic in 1995 because of the bad condition of a particularly rural section of it, and a one-lane bridge across a creek along it whose guard rails were nearly completely gone. In recent years, there's been an increasing need for York Region to reopen Bathurst Street to accommodate the traffic, and so they announced the construction of a bypass to facilitate that.

The two times I was there, in July and September of 2013, that work hadn't begun yet. Since then, it has, north of the closure. Yesterday, I, P-Doug, and Larry took a quick drive up there to see how far work had gotten.

The video below shows two views... the first half is driving down Bathurst to the north end of the closure and then back toward Yonge Street back in September, 2013. The second half is the same drive taken yesterday, in March, 2015. I didn't look at the photos or videos I'd taken in 2013 before I went, and so some of the impact was lost on me when we were there because I hadn't reminded myself what it looked like, though it's clear from the comments that I did recognize some changes. The road is considerably wider all the way down (something lost on me yesterday), and now makes a marked last-minute 20-yard deke to the west to avoid the hillside it once climbed. I'll be extremely interested to see how the work progresses, and if the lost little bridge is spared. I'm inclined by the reclamation status of the land it's on to think that it will be.

Some photos, then and now, for comparison.

Then (facing south):


Then (facing north):


The only thing that took the wind out of my sails was that P-Doug found a dead cat at the right side of the end of the road (you can kind of see him noticing it in the first "now" image, above). A big fellow; head tucked down. He absolutely looked like he was sleeping; there wasn't a mark on him. The dried run-off on the downslope side of his body led us to surmise he'd been entombed in the snowbank and exposed by the thaw in just the last day or so. My guess is he was either caught up by snow clearing equipment or had fallen asleep outdoors by the side of the road and frozen to death. My curses on people who let their pets wander outdoors.

No comments: