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Yonge Street rapidway construction:
More work started February 26

Metrolinx and York Region contractors continue the project to build a rapidway — bus-only lanes in the centre of the roadway — along Yonge Street in Newmarket and Richmond Hill.

To prepare for upcoming work to widen the road and relocate utlilies, crews are marking and removing trees along York Region’s right-of-way on the east and west sides of Yonge Street in Newmarket between just south of Davis Drive and Sawmill Valley Drive / Savage Road. They’ll also mark and remove trees in Richmond Hill, between 19th Avenue / Gamble Road and Levendale Road and between Major Mackenzie Drive and Highway 7.

Starting Thursday, February 26, they’ll be removing about 324 trees of varying health and sizes within the road-widening area in Newmarket to allow for the next phase of construction. Starting Friday, February 27, they’ll be removing about 665 trees in Richmond Hill.

Once the rapidway project is complete, they’ll plant the same number of trees along the boulevards and in the medians, supporting York Region’s Greening Strategy. The goal is that, at the end of the project, Yonge Street will have attractive, pedestrian-friendly sidewalks and extensive landscaping with many types of trees, shrubs, ground covers, ornamental grasses and perennial flowers.

Crews will begin marking the trees and removing them shortly afterwards. They’ll remove the majority of the trees before bird-nesting season, which is from April 15 until July 15. A certified arborist will assess and then sign off on any remaining trees that crews must remove during the bird-nesting season.

Crews will work Mondays to Fridays from 7 a.m. until 7 p.m. each day. At times, they may work weekends. The work continues in Newmarket for about one month or until March 27. It continues in Richmond Hill for about two months or until April 15.

They’ll remove smaller trees and chip their wood on-site. They’ll local larger trees into a bin and chipped them off-site to reduce the disruption. They’ll clean up all work areas before they move on to the next location. They’ll use the wood chips and mulch from the trees for landscaping.

Expect a bit of noise and dust from this work.

Crews may temporarily block south- and northbound curb lanes as they remove trees on the east and west sides of Yonge.

At times, they may also block sidewalks to make sure that pedestrian are safe while they remove the trees. They’ll place signs to direct pedestrians to cross safely at signalized intersections.

The work may also temporarily affect bus stops. York Region Transit and GO Transit may temporarily relocate the stops. Signs will direct passengers to temporary stops.

During rapidway construction on Yonge Street in Richmond Hill, expect delays for GO Transit buses operating along this route:

  • 61 Richmond Hill / Toronto.

Also expect delays for York Region Transit buses operating along these routes:

  • Viva blue;
  • Viva blue “A”;
  • 15 Stouffville;
  • 22A King City;
  • 25 Major Mackenzie;
  • 81 Inspiration;
  • 83 / 83A Trench;
  • 84 Oak Ridges;
  • 86 Newkirk / Red Maple;
  • 98 Yonge;
  • 99 Yonge; and
  • 589 / 590 Richmond Hill community bus.

During rapidway construction on Yonge Street in Newmarket, expect delays for for GO Transit buses operating along these routes:

  • 65 Newmarket / Toronto; and
  • 68 Barrie / Newmarket.

Also expect delays for York Region Transit buses operating along these routes:

  • Viva blue;
  • Viva blue “A”;
  • 22/ 22A King City;
  • 57 / 57A Mulock;
  • 98 Yonge; and
  • 520 / 521 Newmarket community bus.