At the County Council meeting on January 24, MTO made a presentation that described traffic, accidents, closures, snow clearing, maintenance goals and construction projects. It generally covered the Eastern Region which extends from Port Hope through Northumberland to the Quebec border. The MTO does not get much publicity so I have listed below the highlights of the presentation as they affect Northumberland. But they do try to keep us informed with their kiosks at ONRoute service Stations, using a Twitter account and various web sites. Kathryn Moore from the Ministry of Transportation made the presentation. The photo shown below was originally captioned as being in Toronto – but I’m not sure which highway it is nor even if it’s MOT – although it is representative!
Average Daily Traffic – Port Hope
Collisions 2012 thru 2016
|Collisions per million Vehicle Km
2015 provincial freeways average
Full Closures 2012 to 2016
No planned closures in Northumberland
Unplanned Closures through the 64Km of 401 in Northumberland
|Total Unplanned Closures||47|
|Direction of Unplanned Closures||25 EB
Northumberland Locations of Full Closures
|Exit 461 (Port Hope) to 464 (Port Hope)||5 to 8 closures|
|Exit 464 (Port Hope) to 474 (Division St Cobourg)||1 to 4 closures|
|Exit 474 (Cobourg) to 487 (Grafton)||9 to 12 closures|
|Exit 487 (Grafton) to 497 (Colborne)||1 to 4 closures|
|Exit 497 (Colborne) to 509 (Brighton)||9 to 12 closures|
Recent technology enhancements
MTO have provided several additions to the Compass system in use for many years – Compass now provides traffic cameras in the GTA and Kingston but not Northumberland. However, the Low Visibility Warning System (LVWS), Track My Plow and the Twitter enhancements do include our area.
Low Visibility Warning System
- One of a kind system for MTO
- Located in an area of Highway 401 in Northumberland County that is especially prone to snow streamers off Lake Ontario creating white out conditions (Nagle Road to Percy Street)
- When reduced visibility is detected the system automatically triggers flashing lights on these signs (3 sets of signs)
- Portable Variable Message Signs at either end of the installation (1 PVMS sign in each direction)
- MTO and our contractor receive notification when the system activates.
- The intent of the system is to influence driver behavior when reduced visibility is detected.
- This system is a trial project; the ministry is monitoring and will consider expanding and/or enhancing the system.
Track My Plow
Go to http://www.trackmyplow.com/ to see where plows are in near real time (on Provincial highways only). Or at interactive kiosks at ONroute Centres
Proactive communication includes an active Twitter account: https://twitter.com/511ONEastern
Or search for @511ONEastern
In 2014, MTO got blasted for doing a poor job and as a result they have improved the requirements of the contractors (Report from October 2014 here)
- 401 through Cobourg has a winter maintenance standard of Class 1 which means that following a winter event, there should be bare pavement within 8 hours
- Deployment of plows (upon accumulation of 2cm of snow)
- Spreading sand/salt (within 30 minutes of arrival of storm)
- Address isolated slippery sections
- Post storm clean-up (shoulders, median cross-overs, banks, commuter parking lots)
DLA (Direct Liquid Application)
Now used some of the time.
- Anti-icing liquids can be placed prior to snow, freezing rain or in frost susceptible areas (bridge decks)
- Remains on surface to melt initial precipitation and prevent the snow or ice from sticking to the surface
- Used more often in southern Ontario where temperatures are milder
- Used primarily at beginning or end of winter in Ontario
Highway 401 Projects [Northumberland section]
- Six-laning underway from 1 km west of Burnham Street to 2 km east of Nagle Road in Cobourg area
- Planning studies underway for six-laning from Nagle Road through Belleville
- Underpass bridge replacements – lengthened to accommodate future six-laning
The fact that County Council gets a report by MTO seems also to be a result of the criticism they got in 2013/14.
Download the full presentation documents