Steeles Avenue East road closure ahead as crews prepare south side of new underpass to welcome traffic

Short-term traffic detours for vehicle and pedestrians are coming to Steeles Avenue East. But when the project is complete, it will eliminate the need to wait for trains to pass – improving traffic flow, safety and access to GO train service via new pedestrian bridges.

Steeles Avenue East is getting an upgrade by moving below grade.

To safely divert traffic to the south side of the new underpass below the rail bridge, a full road closure will be required on Steeles Avenue East from Redlea Avenue to Midland Avenue on April 30 at 8 p.m. to May 3 at 6 a.m. A temporary detour along Passmore Avenue will provide an alternative route while crews work over the weekend.

Image shows workers under a bridge.
Steeles Ave E underpass and rail bridge (facing west). Crews are putting the finishing touches on the sidewalks and bike lanes. Final paving and traffic line painting will take place this week in advance of the weekend closure and traffic change. (Metrolinx photo)

Progress continues at a steady pace and the closure brings the project one step closer to being done. Once fully complete, this stretch of Steeles Avenue East will be expanded from four to six lanes, increasing capacity for traffic, reducing congestion and improving access to train service via Milliken GO Station. This work is part of the GO Expansion program supporting more frequent, all-day, two-way service on core segments of the Stouffville line.

Crews will be working 24/7 during the upcoming weekend – performing road tie-ins, completing paving activities, constructing curbs, doing final line painting and installing temporary construction barriers for the new traffic staging.

Image shows construction site next to a large wall.
Steeles Ave E underpass south east retaining wall, sidewalk and bike lane. Traffic will be diverted to the side south of this underpass beginning May 3, 2021. (Metrolinx photo)

During the weekend closure, traffic delays are expected. Detour routes will be in place for the duration of the closure and directional signage will be installed. Traffic and pedestrian changes are outlined below:

  • There will be no vehicle or pedestrian access on Steeles Avenue East between Redlea Avenue and Old Kennedy Road/Silver Star Boulevard.
  • Eastbound traffic will be directed south on Kennedy Road to Passmore Avenue and north on Midland Avenue.
  • Westbound traffic will be directed south on Midland Avenue to Passmore Avenue and north on Kennedy Road.
  • One lane in each direction will be maintained between Kennedy Road and Redlea Avenue to provide access to businesses located south of Steeles Avenue East along Redlea Avenue.

TTC busses will be operational using the detour route. For more information about bus service please visit ttc.ca.

Image shows the detour.
Here’s a map of detour route for upcoming Steeles Avenue East Closure April 30 – May 3, 2021. (Metrolinx image)
Image shows a map of the street closure.
And a map of Steeles Avenue East Closure April 30 – May 3, 2021. (Metrolinx image)

Beginning Mon May 3, at 6 a.m., the detour along Passmore Avenue will close and traffic will be diverted to the south side of the new Steeles Avenue East underpass below the rail bridge.

Two lanes in each direction will be maintained on the south side of the underpass while construction continues on the north side. The pedestrian walkway will be available on the south side of Steeles Avenue East along the new retaining wall. This configuration will be in place through to mid-2022.

Image shows where customers should go.
And here’s a map of traffic and pedestrian routes to be in place May 3, 2021. (Metrolinx image)

The temporary road closure will make commutes more challenging, but the short-term inconvenience will bring long-term benefits.

In the future, commuters can look forward to:

  • Improved traffic flow with a total of six lanes between Redlea Avenue to Silver Star Boulevard.
  • Two new pedestrian bridges over Steeles Avenue East will improve access to and around Milliken GO Station.
  • Direct access to the pedestrian bridges via stairwells and elevators.
  • Enhanced station access – will improve connections to TTC bus services on Steeles as well as safety for pedestrians, vehicles and cyclists in the area.

While a sure sign of spring are detour and road closure signs, in this case, patience for those making their way around the impacted streets will soon be rewarded with improved transit and traffic flow.

For more information on the Steeles Avenue East Underpass just go here.

And visit Metrolinx.com/Stouffville or sign up to get updates by emailing TorontoEast@metrolinx.com.

Story by Teresa Ko, Metrolinx senior advisor