AJAX — After years of waiting, a widening of Bayly Street in Ajax is finally at the top of the Region’s roads agenda for 2012.
As it stands, Bayly has four lanes, two lanes going east and two lanes going west, until Shoal Point Road, where it narrows to a two-lane rural road. It Whitby it becomes Victoria Street and remains two lanes until Seaboard Gate, when the road again widens to four lanes.
Ajax councillor Colleen Jordan sits on the Region’s works committee and said the need to widen the road has been identified for a number of years but the project didn’t go ahead due to budget constraints.
“The need, I think, is evident. Anybody who travels that area of south Ajax knows the traffic is so heavy and that bottleneck really slows people down,” she said.
Coun. Jordan said she’s been hearing from residents for years that the portion of road needs to be widened and pointed out that in addition to rush hour times, the road is particularly clogged if there’s an accident on Hwy. 401 and traffic is diverted to local roads.
“Whether you live in Ajax or Whitby or Pickering or Oshawa, many of the residents use that route to travel east and west for employment and for other activities,” she said.
The widening of the road to four lanes plus a fifth turning lane has been identified by Region staff as a priority for 2012 and final approval of it would have to come through the Region’s budget process in February, explained Paul Gee, manager of transportation design for Durham’s works department.
He said staff is recommending about $50 million in roads funding for the year in 2012.
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