Thunder Bay Expressway

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Thunder Bay Expressway
Part of Terry Fox Courage Highway
Ontario Highway 7250
Route information
Maintained by MTO
Length: 15.3 km (9.5 mi)
Major junctions
south end: Highway 61
  Highway 11 / Highway 17 (west)
Harbour Expressway (east)
Highway 102 (west)
Red River Road (east)
east end: Highway 11 / Highway 17
Highway system
Roads in Ontario

The Thunder Bay Expressway is a four-lane highway with signalized intersections running on the western edge of Thunder Bay, in the Canadian province of Ontario. The route carries portions of Highway 61 as well as the concurrency of Highway 11 and Highway 17 around the city, from south of Arthur Street to Highway 527 northeast of it.

The route was built in the late 1960s, opening between mid-1967 and late 1970. The old routes of Highway 11/17 and Highway 61 through Thunder Bay were redesignated as Highway 11B/17B and Highway 61B. Work is now ongoing to twin Highway 11/17 northeast to Nipigon.

Route description[edit]

The Thunder Bay Expressway has the unsigned designation of Highway 7250 and forms the southernmost portion of the Terry Fox Courage Highway, which continues east to Nipigon along the Trans-Canada Highway.[1] Between Arthur Street and the Harbour Expressway, it shares a designation with Highway 61. Between the Harbour Expressway and its eastern terminus at Hodder Avenue, it shares a designation with Highway 11 and 17, a portion of the Trans-Canada Highway.

The entire route is four lanes and undivided, with an exception between Balsam Street and Hodder Avenue where the route is twinned. Its intersections are all at-grade. Plans to entirely twin the highway and build interchanges were abandoned in the 1990s. The city of Thunder Bay maintains a right of way for these expansion plans in its official plan, and in some places there is evidence of these plans. However, the province of Ontario has recently announced funding to twin the Trans-Canada Highway from Thunder Bay to Nipigon, which has resulted in the first, local highway interchange at the intersection of Hodder Avenue, and highways 11 and 17.

The highway runs along the western edge of Thunder Bay south and bisects the northwest portion of Thunder Bay north. The bulk of its traffic is local but it is also an important route in the Trans-Canada highway network.

History[edit]

In 1963, Charles MacNaughton, minister of the Department of Highways, announced plans for the Lakehead Expressway to be built on the western edge of the twin cities of Port Arthur and Fort Williams (which amalgamated in 1970 to form Thunder Bay).[2] Work began in August 1965, with a contract for a 5 kilometres (3 mi) section of divided highway on the west side of the twin cities.[3] Plans called for a 28.2 kilometres (17.5 mi) at-grade expressway from South of Arthur Street to meet Highway 11 and Highway 17 northeast of the cities.[4] The first section of the expressway opened on August 29, 1967, connecting Oliver Road (then part of Highway 130) and Golf Links Road with Dawson Road (Highway 102).[5] By mid- to late 1969, the route had been extended to Highway 527 northeast of the twin cities and to Highway 11 and Highway 17 (Arthur Street) at the Harbour Expressway.[6] By late 1970, the route had been extended southward from Arthur Street to Neebing Avenue / Walsh Street West. At this time, Highway 11/17 and Highway 61 were rerouted along the completed expressway. The old routes through Thunder Bay were redesignated as Highway 11B/17B and Highway 61B.[7][8][9]

Major intersections[edit]

The following table lists the major junctions along Thunder Bay Expressway, as noted by the Ministry of Transportation of Ontario. The entire route is located in Thunder Bay. All exits are unnumbered.

km Mile Destinations Notes
0.0 0.0 Arthur Street North as Highway 61
3.0 1.9 East: Highway 11/17 (Shabaqua Highway) (Trans-Canada)
West: Harbour Expressway
Highway 61 designation ends; Highway 11/17 (Trans-Canada) designation begins
4.6 2.9 Oliver Road
7.7 4.8 John Street
8.9 5.5 East: Red River Road
West: Dawson Road
Dawson Road becomes Highway 102 at Strand Avenue, 300m west.
10.9 6.8 Huron Avenue One-way off-ramp, eastbound.
11.2 7.0 Balsam Street Highway is divided between km 11.6 and 15.2
15.3 9.5 North: Copenhagen Road
South: Hodder Avenue
Thunder Bay Expressway designation ends. Highway 11/17 and Terry Fox Courage Highway designations continue.
1.000 mi = 1.609 km; 1.000 km = 0.621 mi

References[edit]

Route map: Google / Bing

  1. ^ https://www.terryfox.org/Foundation/Facts.html
  2. ^ Engineering and Contract Record (Report). 76. Hugh C. MacLean publications. 1963. p. 121. http://books.google.ca/books?ei=N6OLTJyJIcKC8gavr9D1CQ&ct=result&id=lHjmAAAAMAAJ&dq=%22Lakehead+Expressway%22&q=%22Mr.+MacNaughton#search_anchor. Retrieved September 12, 2010. "The long awaited Lakehead Expressway moved to the brink of reality when Ontario Highways Minister Charles S. MacNaughton announced a new cost-sharing formula for the twin cities portion. This fixes the expressway cost at $15,770,000."
  3. ^ A.T.C. McNab (September 27–30, 1965). "Proceedings of the... Convention". Canadian Good Roads Association. p. 91.  |chapter= ignored (help)
  4. ^ A.T.C. McNab (September 6–9, 1966). "Proceedings of the... Convention". Canadian Good Roads Association. p. 73.  |chapter= ignored (help)
  5. ^ A.T.C. McNab (September 25–28, 1967). "Proceedings of the... Convention". Canadian Good Roads Association. p. 61.  |chapter= ignored (help)
  6. ^ A.T.C. McNab (September 29 – October 2, 1969). "Proceedings of the... Convention". Canadian Good Roads Association. p. 66.  |chapter= ignored (help)
  7. ^ "Appendix 16 - Schedule of Designations and Redesignations of Sections". Annual Report (Report). Department of Highways and Communications. March 31, 1971. p. 151, 154.
  8. ^ Department of Transportation and Communications (1970). Ontario Road Map (Map). Cartography by Photogrammetry Office. Thunder Bay inset.
  9. ^ Department of Transportation and Communications (1971). Ontario Road Map (Map). Cartography by Photogrammetry Office. Thunder Bay inset.