Ontario Construction News staff writer
The Ministry of Transportation has started construction of a new bridge over Highway 400 in Barrie. The Anne Street bridge will be demolished overnight this weekend (June 5) and the construction project is expected to last 18 months.
Highway 400 will be fully closed in both directions while the existing bridge is demolished.
Construction is being led by the Ministry of Transportation (MTO) and it includes significant roadwork on the 400, from Dunlop Street to St. Vincent Street.
Replacing the Anne Street bridge is one of several similar projects scheduled in Barrie, according to the MTO, including three underpass structures on Highway 400 – at Dunlop Street, Anne Street and Sunnidale Road.
Also included in the project is the reconstruction of the Dunlop Street and Highway 400 interchange, Highway 400 pavement resurfacing from Dunlop Street to north of St. Vincent Street, Bayfield Street ramp resurfacing, Highway 400 median barrier replacement, drainage improvements within the resurfacing limits, design of noise walls in the vicinity of Dunlop, Anne and Duckworth and provision for Highway 400 future full illumination.
The project works are being designed to accommodate the future ultimate widening of Highway 400, which is beyond the scope of this project and is not currently scheduled or budgeted. The preliminary design of the bridge replacement options were previously completed as part of a 2017 Environmental Assessment:
- Detail design has started for the Highway 400/Essa Road interchange reconstruction project, and construction work is expected to begin in spring 2022, subject to funding and environmental approvals, and anticipated to be completed by fall 2025.
- Detail design and class environmental assessment study is expected for the replacement of bridges on Highway 400 at Dunlop Street and Sunnidale Road, including reconstruction of the Highway 400 and Dunlop Street interchange.
Plans to widen Highway 400 through Barrie were discussed a few years ago the ministry completed a transportation environmental study report update for Highway 400 between Highway 89 and Highway 11.
In 2002, MTO officials said commuter times on Highway 400 would double in 20 years if the highway wasn’t widened. At that time, the plan was to expand the 400 to eight lanes between Highway 89 Mapleview Drive and 10 lanes to Bayfield Street. At that time the estimated cost was $300 million.