Wonderland Road

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Wonderland Road is a major north-south arterial road in London, Ontario. It is also the busiest road in London, carrying over 45,000 vehicles between Springbank Drive and Riverside Drive as of 2002.[1]


History[edit]

Wonderland Road takes its name from the Wonderland Gardens concert hall located near Springbank Park. The present-day Wonderland Road corridor is made up of part or all of six London-area roads.

The original Wonderland Sideroad was a gravel road running between Southdale Road and the Thames River, with Wonderland Gardens located at the end of the road just before the river.[citation needed] In 1970, a major upgrade took place in conjunction with the new Westmount development, that saw the road widened to four lanes with a centre median south of Commissioners Road, and a new two-lane road south of Viscount Road that bypassed the existing road to the east, connecting at Southdale Road with the old Airport Road which ran south to Highway 135.[citation needed]

North of the Thames River, the modern-day Wonderland Road corridor consisted of: Hutton Sideroad, which existed from Riverside Drive north to the Sarnia Gravel Road; a north-south section of Sarnia Road which ran from Hutton Road and then continued westwards along today's Gainsborough Road; north of this point, Cameron Sideroad continued northward to Highway 7.[citation needed] Hutton Sideroad passed under the Canadian National Railway tracks via a one-lane subway located slightly west of the current wider subway, which was constructed in the late 1950s.[citation needed] At some point in the 1970s, Sarnia Road was realigned to continue westward from Hutton Road along Springhill Road, and Hutton Road was extended northward along the former section of Sarnia Road and Cameron Road.[citation needed]

In 1977, a new four-lane bridge was opened connecting Wonderland Road south of the river to Hutton Road north of the river.[citation needed] This bridge was named in memory of Londoner Guy Lombardo, who had recently died and had often played at nearby Wonderland Gardens.[citation needed] At the same time, a four-lane diversion was built to the west of the original alignment between Commissioners Road and Springbank Drive.[citation needed] Hutton Road was renamed Wonderland Road North. Wonderland Road was now a continuous four-lane facility from Viscount Road to Kingsway Avenue.[citation needed] The four-lane section was extended north to just beyond Oxford Street in 1982.[citation needed]

In 1987, a new four-lane bridge was built over the Canadian Pacific Railway just south of Sarnia Road, replacing a two-lane level crossing.[citation needed] The four-lane section of Wonderland Road was further extended to Gainsborough Road in 1996, and a small section south of Fanshawe Park Road was widened to four lanes in 1998.[citation needed]

At the south end of the city, for many years Wonderland Road ended at Highway 135, later Exeter Road.[citation needed] The section between Southdale Road and Highway 135 was widened to four lanes in 1982 by Middlesex County, and the City of London widened the road north of Southdale to Viscount Road in the late 1980s.[citation needed] In 1997, a southerly extension joined Wonderland Road with Bostwick Road, which also crossed Highway 402. An interchange was constructed at Highway 402 at the same time.[citation needed]

Future[edit]

Wonderland Road narrows from four to two lanes between Gainsborough Road and Fanshawe Park Road. Construction is underway to widen this section to four lanes, as well as replacing the bridge over Snake Creek.[2] This should be complete by the end of 2010. Additional widening from Fanshawe Park Road to Sunningdale Road is being planned and is in the city's mid term plans.[3]

Long term plans call for Wonderland Road to be widened to six lanes from a future interchange from highway 401 to London's north city limits.[4]

Extension to Highway 401[edit]

A typical section of Highway 401 between Highways 4 and 402.

An interchange with Highway 401 and Wonderland Road has been planned and environmentally assessed.[5] It is scheduled to be completed in 2016 along with other interchange improvements from Colonel Talbot Road to Veteran's Memorial Parkway.[6]

References[edit]

  1. ^ City of London (Year 2002 traffic volumes). "City of London Traffic Volume Data". Retrieved April 28, 2010. "Did you know that Wonderland Road between Riverside Drive and Springbank Drive is London's most travelled section of roadway carrying 45,000 vehicles per day?" 
  2. ^ City of London (April 22, 2010). "Wonderland Road Widening". Retrieved April 28, 2010. "Road widening to four lanes, new bridge spanning over Snake Creek, new watermain, noise walls being erected on both sides of Wonderland, bike paths and tree planting" 
  3. ^ City of London (May 2004). "TRANSPORTATION MASTER PLAN". Retrieved April 28, 2010. "Wonderland Road widening to 4 lanes from Fanshawe Park Road to Sunningdale Road" 
  4. ^ City of London (April 5, 2001). "Long Term CorridorProtection Study". Retrieved April 28, 2010. "6-Lane Arterials: Wonderland Road- Sunningdale-401" 
  5. ^ City of London (May 10, 2004). "London Transportation Master Plan". Retrieved April 25, 2010. "Planned Capital Project: Wonderland Road South/Highway 401 interchange" [dead link]
  6. ^ City of London (November 19, 2009). "London Transportation Report- Southwest Area Plan". Retrieved April 16, 2010. "Future Interchanges/Upgrade: Colonel Talbot at Highway 401" [dead link]