Tomorrow, Thursday, March 22, Metrolinx and Region of York contractors start removing trees along Highway 7 East between Warden Avenue and Highway 404, South Town Centre Boulevard and Cedarland Drive to get ready for widening Highway 7 and moving all utilities farther back from the roadway. The work is part of the project to build “rapidways” — bus-only centre lanes — along the busy east-west road in Markham.
Once construction is complete, Highway 7 will include nearly 50 per cent more trees than originally. But, in the meantime, work crews must remove trees near the road to let them get started on the first phase of construction — moving the utilities and widening the road.
Although the workers are transplanting 50 trees, they’ll also be removing 185 trees of varying health and sizes. However, before they’ve finished the rapidway project, they’ll be installing pedestrian-friendly sidewalks and extensive landscaping with many more trees of various types, shrubs, ornamental grasses and perennial flowers.
Work crews will be cutting down the trees from Thursday, March 22 until Saturday, March 31 between 9:30 a.m. and 3:30 p.m. They’ll start from Woodbine Avenue, then continue eastward. They’ll cut the trees into sections, then chip the wood off-site. They’ll clean up all work areas before moving to a new location.
During the work, the Region and Town of Markham may close the curb lanes beside each work site from 9:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. In all work areas, a flag person will be on site to direct traffic and pedestrians.
Passengers riding York Region Transit buses operating along the Viva pink, Viva purple and 1 Highway 7 routes should expect some delays while the work proceeds.