;widows: auto;-webkit-text-stroke-width: 0px;word-spacing:0px’>Based on a structural engineering assessment done in 2009, the bridge, built in 1946, is at the end of its lifespan.
The reconstruction project includes removing the existing bridge and all its footings and piers and building a new bridge with two southbound lanes and one northbound.
The project includes dedicated northbound left, straight and right-turn lanes at Hwy. 7.
The works means no vehicular traffic during construction, no pedestrians allowed and no transit.
The city has established a door-to-door taxi service for residents until the bridge re-opens, said the city’s project manager, Dan Foong.
The taxi service — available to those who walk or use public transit and do not have access to a vehicle — will run every day including weekends and holidays.
Residents will be picked up at their home and dropped off at one of three transit stops, at McCowan Road, Main Street Markham or Ninth Line. The taxi will pick up the resident at the same stops and return them home.
In the fall, students will be picked up at a central location in the area and dropped off at a transit location near their school.
Foong said the taxi service is free for those who use it and will be folded into the overall bridge reconstruction project cost.
Parents in the area can expect to hear from schools prior to classes starting in the fall. School bus pickup times will have to be moved up to account for new routes.
Municipal services such as emergency and fire response, snow removal and garbage pickup will not be affected by the bridge closure, Foong said.
The official detour route will send drivers to Ninth Line and the Donald Cousens Parkway/Markham Bypass. There is concern drivers will cut up along already congested McCowan Road. The city, along with the region and York Regional Police, will monitor the traffic situation.
Learning from the past two years of construction along Main Street Markham north of Hwy. 7, the city has arranged for contractors to work overtime and weekends from the get-go, Foong said.
“To help expedite the project, we will begin working overtime hours from the start of construction,” he said.
This will also help keep the $15-million project on track with the goal of rebuilding the bridge and having one lane open for the winter. Resurfacing and paving will take place in the spring.
For questions about the taxi service, email firstname.lastname@example.org