Scarlett Rd Subway the beauty, or as the city calls it Scarlett Road/CP Galt Subdivision Bridge

Stand across the street from the Scarlett Rd. underpass and you will quickly be brought into thoughts about the CPR railways close and developmental link to the area.

You may also be able to admire the beauty of the subways angular placement – also on a incline to the north and south!

Note the long galvanized rude running along the upper part of the subway, this is fiber optic run that runs along the rail right of way.

Below are some Texts from the 2007 – SCARLETT ROAD / CP RAIL BRIDGE CLASS ENVIRONMENTAL ASSESSMENT which provide a lot of great information about construct.

Full report link

Full report link

Prior to 1912, Scarlett Road crossed the CP Rail tracks at-grade and intersected with Dundas Street West approximately opposite the present day location of Gooch Avenue. St. Clair Avenue West also crossed the CP Rail tracks at grade and intersected with Dundas Street West, at a shallow angle, east of Scarlett Road.

With the construction of the CP Rail underpass in 1912, Scarlett Road was shifted west to its present alignment, so that the existing roadway and level crossing could remain in operation during construction. St. Clair Avenue West was diverted to its present location, along the north side of the CP Rail tracks and a new intersection with Scarlett Road was constructed.

Scarlett Road and St. Clair Avenue West were both re-graded, resulting in 5% slopes down to the underpass. Dundas Street West was diverted to the south of its previous location, and ramps were built along the north side of the street to provide access to the underpass, also at a 5% grade.

The present configuration of the roads in the Study Focus is very similar to what was constructed in 1912. The only major change has been the elimination of the ramps on Dundas Street West. The street has been re-graded across its entire width to provide full access to the underpass; down-grades to the underpass are approximately 4% from the east and 1% from the west.

With increasing volumes of automobile traffic, Scarlett Road, St. Clair Avenue West and Dundas Street West have all been widened to four basic lanes, except for Scarlett Road through the underpass. The restricted width through the underpass and the short distance between the Dundas Street West and St. Clair Avenue West intersections on Scarlett Road have required the restriction of movements through the underpass, as described below.

From the report- not much has changed


The following are some significant issues identified during the Feasibility Study that were addressed during the Class EA Study and served as the starting point for the Need and Justification:

Safety – Factors such as short intersection spacing and restricted sight distances, roadway widths and vertical clearances create significant safety concerns (66 collisions in 3 years) for the movement of vehicles, pedestrians, cyclists and trains through the Study Area. A thorough safety review was undertaken to understand the nature and severity of problems at this site in relation to other comparable sites within the City of Toronto and other jurisdictions;

Traffic Operations – The spacing and configuration of the intersections of Scarlett Rd. with St. Clair Ave. and Dundas St. have created multiple traffic operations problems, including capacity deficiencies and movement restrictions. In order to obtain an accurate assessment of the operation of the Scarlett Road intersections with St. Clair Avenue West and Dundas Street West, operational analyses and simulation were carried out using Synchro/SimTraffic Version 6.

Pedestrians and Cyclists – The existing CP Rail underpass is a barrier to pedestrian circulation due to dark, narrow sidewalks and the safety hazards noted above. Scarlett Rd. is identified as a proposed bicycle lane route in the Toronto Bike Plan, but bike lanes cannot be accommodated through the CP Rail underpass. The design of improvements to the bridge and surrounding road network must incorporate features to remove these barriers and safely accommodate pedestrians and cyclists through the Study Area.

Railway Operations – Four tracks cross Scarlett Rd. on the CP Rail bridge, one yard track and three mainline tracks (CP Galt Subdivision, carrying approximately 25 freight trains per day and 12 GO trains per day on GO’s Milton line). The high level of mainline traffic and the proximity of a yard, with multiple tracks, switches and signals, severely limit the options for bridge replacement and construction staging.

An additional track provides access to the marshalling yard immediately to the east of Scarlett Road and a weigh scale located west of Scarlett Road. Consultation with CP was undertaken to obtain additional data regarding the existing bridge condition, rehabilitation plans and operational constraints that would apply to work at this site.

Traffic Patterns – Improvements to the Scarlett Rd. railway underpass and adjacent intersections could alter established traffic patterns throughout the area. For example, an increase in vertical clearance and/or provision of a southbound left-turn at Dundas St. could attract increased commercial traffic to Scarlett Rd. Potential impacts of such changes on traffic volumes and travel patterns through the surrounding area will require careful consideration.

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1 Comment

It would be interesting if the project to build a new underpass to replace this piece of infrastructure could reuse and restore the centre trusses for a work of public art somewhere in the vicinity. It's a piece of infrastructure that's evocative of a distant period of time and interesting in form, even if there are other such underpasses in Toronto. It would be worth saving some of the old on site.

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