New pedestrian bridges on Bayly and Church span Duffins CreekBy Reka Szekely
AJAX — A new bridge and paved pathway means it’s about to get easier for pedestrians and cyclists to travel along a busy stretch of Bayly Street in Ajax.
Workers installed the bridge over the Duffins Creek on the south side of Bayly, west of Westney Road, late last week and they also created a paved pathway leading from the bridge to Church Street where another bridge, also spanning Duffins Creek, will be installed within the next two weeks.
The new pathways and bridges mean interruptions to the Duffins Creek Trail and the Trans-Canada Trail system in Ajax will be eliminated.
“You’ll be able to stay on the trail system without going on the road all the way up,” said Reg Lawrance, a member of Ajax’s trails committee.
Before the bridge, residents could take the Duffins South Trail from the waterfront at Rotary Park north past Lions Park until Bayly Street. They would then have to proceed along Bayly to Church, either cycling on the road or walking on a dirt path. On Church, residents also had to use the road to cross the creek near Hwy. 401 before connecting to the Duffins North Trail which starts near Mill Street and winds almost to Rossland Road.
Mr. Lawrance said the bridge and pathway will be particularly helpful on busy Bayly.
“That was pretty scary along there, that’s for sure; that’s a big, big improvement,” he said. “A lot of people use it for transport, you’ve probably seen them walking along there.”
Fara Namjoy, project manager of the installation for Rankine Construction, said the Bayly bridge has a 54-metre span and is three metres wide. It was brought in two pieces to the site where large cranes lowered them into place.
“It’s a huge operation today,” said Mr. Namjoy on Friday. “These are some of the biggest cranes available in Ontario.”
The Church Street bridge will span the Duffins Creek on the east side of Church just south of Hwy. 401. It will be a seasonal bridge with a 35-metre span.
“It will be lifted during the winter to prevent ice jamming,” said Mr. Namjoy.
A plan to address the potential for ice jams was a requirement of the Toronto and Region Conservation Authority. A portion of Church near the bridge will also include a new pathway.
Rankine was awarded a $1.2 million contract in July to complete the projects.
For more information on Ajax’s trails system, visit townofajax.com.