Escarpment Crossing Study

This study was initiated to review safe, efficient and appropriate movement of heavy truck traffic across the Niagara Escarpment.

The study found that none of the current escarpment crossings within the study area could safely and efficiently accommodate existing and future truck traffic.

The project team has recommended a series of short and long term projects to improve safety for all road users and allow built up areas to continue their development without the intrusive effects of regular large truck traffic.

Recommendations

In addition to safety and operational improvements along existing crossings the study came to two primary recommendations to address safety concerns along the escarpment.

The first recommendation focuses on Mountain Rd. and Mountain St. Both of these roadways carry heavy truck traffic through built-up community areas and there is very limited opportunity for enhancement of the roadways. The results of the study recommend transferring portions of these roadways to the local area municipalities, so that traffic restrictions can be put in place to discourage heavy truck use.

The second recommendation identifies the need for a new escarpment crossing along Bartlett Ave. in Grimsby. In order for this to happen a full Class Environmental Assessment would need to be undertaken to determine the exact alignment of this new roadway. Once this Class Environmental Assessment is initiated, residents will have the opportunity to provide input on the alignment and design features of the new roadway.

Road transfers are planned to occur following the implementation of Bartlett Ave. extension.

Proposed Recommendations from Public Information Centre #3

  • Woolverton Rd. (Grimsby)

    Existing Issues

    • Skewed intersection at Main St. West and steep approach grade to the intersection
    • Steep grades ( approximately 16%)
    • Narrow travel lanes and shoulders
    • Poor drainage at rock face with water spillover onto road
    • Shoulder and pavement erosion from shallow rock ditches
    • Inconsistent guiderail and end treatment
    • Pavement marking / sign reflectivity low
    • No pedestrian or cyclist refuge areas
    • Limited lighting
    • Total vehicle p.m. peak hour volume (two-way) = 280 vehicles/hour
    • Total truck p.m. peak hour volume (two-way) = 9 vehicles/hour

    Recommendations

    • Investigate operational and safety improvements
    • Improve signage, pavement marking, illumination and intersection improvements
  • RR 12 / Mountain Rd. (Grimsby)

    Existing Issues

    • Skewed intersection at Main St. West with wide westbound through lane and long southbound left turn lane
    • Narrow two-lane pavement with sharp horizontal curves
    • Steep grades ( approximately 11%)
    • Sidewalk on east side and inconsistent/narrow shoulders on west side
    • Limited lighting
    • Total vehicle p.m. peak hour volume (two-way) = 740 vehicles/hour
    • Total truck p.m. peak hour volume (two-way) = 43 vehicles/hour

    Recommendations

    • Improve signage, including installing warning signs and electronic speed limit signs
    • Install traffic calming measures such as cross banding at critical locations
    • Investigate added operational and safety improvements including roundabout at Ridge Rd. West and widening of curve by 1m near Oak St.
    • Investigate reconstruction of section between Main St. West to Elm St.
    • South of Elm St. improve current grade and horizontal alignment, as well as cross section with 3.5m lanes, 1.5m sidewalk on east side and 0.5m paved shoulder on west side
    • Investigate providing on-road bicycle facility as described in Niagara Region Bikeways Master Plan Study
    • Provide rolled curb and drainage improvements in cut areas when road is being rehabilitated / reconstructed
  • Park Rd. (Grimsby)

    Existing Issues

    • Indirect connection to QEW via Bartlett Ave.
    • Pavement in poor condition
    • Narrow two-lane pavement with sharp horizontal curves throughout length
    • Narrow two-lane pavement with sharp horizontal curves north of Ridge Rd. and south of Bell Ave.
    • Steep grades (approximately 16%)
    • Visibility restricted at Ridge Rd. West approach
    • Some lighting provided
    • Total vehicle p.m. peak hour volume (two-way) = 355 vehicles/hour
    • Total truck p.m. peak hour volume (two-way) = 13 vehicles/hour

    Recommendations

    • Investigate operational and safety improvements
    • Improve signage, pavement marking, illumination and intersection improvements
  • Thirty Rd. (Grimsby / Lincoln)

    Existing Issues

    • No direct connection to QEW
    • Pavement poor near King St. East
    • Narrow two-lane pavement with sharp horizontal curves throughout length
    • Narrow two-lane pavement with sharp horizontal curves throughout length
    • Narrow and inconsistent shoulders
    • Steep grades (approximately 13%)
    • Closely spaced intersections at Ridge Rd. East
    • Signs and pavement markings inconsistent with poor reflectivity
    • Some lighting provided at intersections
    • Total vehicle p.m. peak hour volume (two-way) = 195 vehicles/hour
    • Total truck p.m. peak hour volume (two-way) = 7 vehicles/hour

    Recommendations

    • Investigate operational and safety improvements
    • Improve signage, pavement marking, illumination and intersection improvements
    • Town of Grimsby to consider installation of roundabout at the intersection of Thirty Rd. and Ridge Rd.
  • Mountainview Rd. (Lincoln)

    Existing Issues

    • No direct connection to QEW
    • Pavement poor near King St.
    • Narrow two-lane pavement with 90-degree horizontal curve
    • Narrow gravel shoulders (0-1m)
    • Steep grades (approximately 11%)
    • Signs and pavement markings inconsistent with poor reflectivity
    • Signs and pavement markings inconsistent with poor reflectivity
    • Some lighting provided at intersections
    • Total vehicle p.m. peak hour volume (two-way) = 70 vehicles/hour
    • Total truck p.m. peak hour volume (two-way) = 6 vehicles/hour

    Recommendations

    • Investigate operational and safety improvements
    • Improve signage, pavement marking, illumination and intersection improvements
  • RR 18 / Mountain St. (Lincoln)

    Existing Issues

    • Constrained turns for trucks at King St. intersection
    • Pavement poor near King St.
    • Narrow two-lane pavement
    • Gravel shoulders (0-1m)
    • Steep grades (approximately 11%)
    • Signs and pavement markings inconsistent with poor reflectivity
    • Signs and pavement markings inconsistent with poor reflectivity
    • Some lighting provided at intersections
    • Total vehicle p.m. peak hour volume (two-way) = 465 vehicles/hour
    • Total truck p.m. peak hour volume (two-way) = 20 vehicles/hour

    Recommendations

    • Reconstruct Mountain St. from King St. to Hillside Dr. (currently being implemented); provide two 3.5m lanes and reinstate existing sidewalks; install mountable curb from Hillside Dr. to Leonard Cres.; upgrade illumination to include intersections and curved areas; improve signage (i.e., installing warning signs and electronic speed limit signs)
    • Install traffic calming measures such as cross banding at critical locations
    • Improve existing alignment and grade through remainder of crossing
    • Provide 1.2m paved shoulders when road is being rehabilitated / reconstructed between Leonard Cres. and Fly Rd.
  • RR 24 / Victoria Ave. (Lincoln)

    Existing Issues

    • Skewed intersection at King St. with 10% grade on south approach
    • Long northbound left turn lane approaching King St.
    • Signs and pavement markings dated / need upgrading
    • Steep grades (approximately 7-10%)
    • Narrow shoulders on west side north of Moyer Rd.
    • Lighting not provided south of Moyer Rd.
    • Traffic speeds may be higher with wider rural roadway cross section
    • Total vehicle p.m. peak hour volume (two-way) = 870 vehicles/hour
    • Total truck p.m. peak hour volume (two-way) = 104 vehicles/hour

    Recommendations

    • Improve signage, including installing warning signs and electronic speed limit signs
    • Install traffic calming measures such as cross banding at critical locations and improve pavement markings
    • Reconfigure south King St. intersection to reduce length of northbound left turn lane and provide centre left turn lane / streetscaping south of King St.
    • Improve lane delineation on north approach to King St. through channelized right turn
    • Improve existing alignment and grade through remainder of crossing to reduce impact to escarpment

Reports

Niagara Escarpment Crossing Transportation Study staff Report PW 27-2016

Notices and Display Boards

Maps

Background

In 1997, the Regions of Hamilton-Wentworth and Niagara completed the Niagara Escarpment Crossing Study focusing on commercial truck traffic crossing the Niagara Escarpment.

The study looked at 14 existing escarpment crossings and their abilities to accommodate medium and heavy truck traffic.

The study recommended that there be three, evenly spaced, designated routes for trucks to cross the Escarpment: Centennial Parkway, Victoria Avenue, and a central route to be determined through Phases 3, 4 and 5 of the Class Environmental Assessment process.

Regional Council received the report in 1997 but implementation of the recommendations was put on hold pending completion of the Niagara Frontier Gateway Study and any subsequent studies (Mid-Peninsula Corridor) by the Ministry of Transportation.

Public Works Committee directed staff to reopen the Class Environmental Assessment in September 2011 for a new or improved escarpment crossing.

In March 2014, Public Works Committee approved revising the terms of reference which will allow the project team to take a master plan approach to recommend a series of short and long term projects to address the problem.

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