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Red Hill Valley Parkway looking south from the Greenhill overpass shortly after opening.

The Red Hill Valley Parkway (called the Red Hill Creek Expressway during the earlier planning stages) is a municipal expressway running through Hamilton, Ontario, Canada, connecting the Lincoln M. Alexander Parkway to the Queen Elizabeth Way near Hamilton Harbour. It is named after the area it runs through, Red Hill Valley. It is a four-lane freeway (four plus a truck climbing lane on the escarpment crossing section) that unofficially opened on November 3, 2007. The opening was accompanied by the Road to Hope race run by 150 people. The parkway was officially originally scheduled to be opened to vehicular traffic on November 16, 2007 but the date was pushed back a day and officially opened November 17, 2007. The speed limit on the freeway on the most part is 90 km/h.

Opponents criticized the potential environmental damage of the project and questioned the economic viability of highway building in the face of declining oil production, while asserting that the chief beneficiaries of the expressway will be long-distance truckers, and land developers on the Hamilton Mountain. Opponents also took issue with the city spending $220 million to build the expressway.[1] Supporters of the expressway highlighted the possible transportation and economic benefits to the city. Proponents also assert that care is being taken to ensure that the Red Hill Valley will be preserved and environmentally improved from its current situation.

The Red Hill Valley Parkway at Queenston Rd under construction in May, 2005

The freeway, combined with the existing Lincoln Alexander Parkway, completes an express bypass south of Hamilton's urban core. Supporters had argued that the highway was the only viable alternative to the congested roads of Highway 403 and QEW Burlington Skyway Bridge, and that completing the Parkway would divert the growing truck traffic off city streets in southern and eastern Hamilton. In particular, the portion of Highway 403 running through Hamilton, also known as the Chedoke Expressway, had limited expansion capacity due to its older design, as well as its winding and hilly nature that reduced travel speed. Also, the 1990s reconstruction of the Freeman Interchange (QEW-403-407) from its original semi-directional T configuration to incorporate the extension of Highway 407 resulted in a lowered capacity for QEW Toronto-bound to 403 westbound traffic (reduced to a single-lane loop ramp, as 407-bound traffic now receives priority instead) and vice versa. These two problems increased the need for a bypass of this junction altogether.

The Red Hill Valley Parkway and Lincoln Alexander Parkway were initially designed as one continuous freeway, although the Lincoln Parkway opened first in 1995 as funding delays stalled the start of construction in Red Hill Valley.[2] Construction on both the King Street East and Queenston Road replacement bridges was completed in the early 1990's before the Rae-led NDP government withrew provincial funding. In addition to connecting to the Lincoln M. Alexander Parkway, there are plans to extend the Red Hill Valley Parkway to the proposed Mid-Peninsula Highway further south.[3] The interchange with the Lincoln Alexander Parkway and Mud Street and Stone Church Rd has been designed to allow the Red Hill Creek Parkway to be extended south with little modification.[4]

The Red Hill Valley Parkway's construction was a contentious political issue during the 1980s, 1990s and early 2000s. It was strongly backed by the provincial governments of Bill Davis and David Peterson. In 1990, citing environmental concerns, the newly-elected administration of Bob Rae withdrew their financial commitment for the expressway project, which prompted a lawsuit from the regional council.[5] Late in his term, Rae proposed a more limited construction along the Red Hill Valley route. His plan to widen existing arterial connections was rejected by Council as insufficient and "too slow" due to traffic signals and stop signs. The succeeding government of Mike Harris restored funding support to a more comprehensive plan.

Contents

Lane configurations from north to south

Section Travel lanes
QEW.PNG Queen Elizabeth Way to Greenhill Ave 2 Travel Lanes in Each Direction
Greenhill Ave to Lincoln M. Alexander Parkway 3 Travel Lanes Southbound, 2 Travel Lanes Northbound

Interchanges

Kilometre Post (From QEW) Intersecting Roads Destinations Additional Notes
0 QEW.PNG Queen Elizabeth Way Toronto
Mississauga
St.Catharines
Niagara Falls
Freeway begins. Ramp from Niagara Bound QEW to Southbound Red Hill Valley Parkway is now open.2008.
1 Barton Street Nashdale
Stoney Creek
Crown Point
Stipeley
Central
3 Queenston Road (Hamilton City Road 8) Glenview
Blakeley
The Delta
Stoney Creek
Fruitland
4 King Street
Lawrence Road
Gershome
Vincent
Landsdale
Central
Accessible to both of these two streets.
5 Greenhill Avenue Vincent
Red Hill
Greenhill Avenue ends upon the interchange with Red Hill Valley Parkway.
6 Mud Street (Hamilton City Road 11)
Stone Church Road
Albion Falls
Jerome
7 Dartnall Road Burlington
Woodstock
London
Freeway ends and continues past this point as the Lincoln M. Alexander Parkway

References

External links

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