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The Southwest Bypass and Southeast Bypass are two separately-constructed roads in the city of Greater Sudburymarker, Ontariomarker, that form a loop around the southern end of the city for traffic travelling on Highway 17, a route of the Trans-Canada Highway. Most of the route is a Super 2 road with at-grade intersections, with the exception of 1 km of divided freeway at an interchange with Highway 69, although the remainder of the road is expected to be converted to a freeway within the next decade. With the Northwest Bypass from Lively to Chelmsford, the roads form a partial ring road around the city's urban core.

History

Prior to the construction of the bypasses, the Highway 17 designation belonged to what is now Municipal Road 55.

The Southwest Bypass was opened in 1974 as a local route primarily designed to reduce traffic pressure on the main highway by offering an alternate route into the city from Walden and points west. The road was considered part of the provincial highway system, although it was designated with a private 7000-series number and was never signed as a provincial highway — only with trailblazers to Highway 69 eastbound and Highway 17 westbound.

When the Highway 17 freeway route through Walden was completed in 1980, the Southwest Bypass terminus in Lively became the freeway's eastern interchange point. The former Highway 17 route through Walden was decommissioned, although the route east of the interchange remained part of Highway 17 until the Southeast Bypass was completed in 1995.

Route description

The Southwest Bypass east of its interchange with Long Lake Road (Municipal Road 80).
The Southwest Bypass's western terminus is at the Highway 17 freeway's interchange with Municipal Road 55. The first kilometre east of the interchange is a transition from the Highway 17 freeway back down to a two-lane highway. The bypass then runs to an interchange at Long Lake Road, and then a further 1 km to an interchange with Highway 69, widening to four lanes for this parclo interchange; at this point the Southwest Bypass ends and the Southeast Bypass begins. The southeast segment runs for approximately 10 km, passing through the southeastern corner of the Lake Laurentian Conservation Area. It meets no roads for its entire length (it crosses over but does not interchange with Bancroft Drive), before ending at a signalized intersection with Municipal Road 55 approximately 2 km west of Coniston. Traffic on Highway 17 must turn right to continue on the highway.

Future construction

The provincial government has announced that the road will be four-laned to Coniston, likely around the same time that Highway 400 supersedes Highway 69 to Sudbury. A 100-meter right of way has been designated since the 1970s for expansion of the Southwest Bypass to four lanes, which has left the route largely undeveloped despite the fact that it passes quite close to an urbanized part of the city.

The interchange at Highway 69 was constructed as a full freeway interchange in 1995, so as to limit traffic disruption at the junction when the rest of the route is four-laned. The Long Lake Road interchange, however, was built with a right-of-way set aside for the new freeway lanes rather than as a full freeway interchange.

In the Ministry of Transportation's current freeway conversion proposals for the bypass, access will be eliminated to all roads between the junction at Highway 69/Municipal Road 46 and the junction at Municipal Road 55, with the exception of an interchange at Municipal Road 80 (Long Lake Road). The plan has been criticized by former municipal councillor Terry Kett, due to the potential for an increased volume of traffic — particularly trucking traffic from the Walden Industrial Park on Fielding Road — spilling into the Mikkola subdivision.

The final phase of the Highway 400 construction, expected sometime in the mid-2010s, will see a new interchange between Highway 400 and Highway 17 along the southeast section of the bypass, several kilometres to the northeast of the existing Highway 69 interchange.

Any future freeway conversion of Highway 17 past the eastern terminus of the bypass route is expected to take place on a new alignment north of Coniston and Wahnapitae.

Interchanges

km Intersecting Road(s) Notes
0.0 Municipal Road 55 Western terminus of SW bypass, intersecting original Highway 17 alignment. Parclo B4 interchange.
Fielding Road / Kantola Road At-grade intersection. In the current expansion plan, this will become an overpass with no direct access to the freeway.
Southview Drive At-grade intersection. In the current expansion plan, this will become an underpass with no direct access to the freeway.
Hannah Lake Road At-grade intersection. In the current expansion plan, access will be restricted to a new service extension of Treeview Road.
Middle Lake Road At-grade intersection. In the current expansion plan, access will be restricted to a new service extension of Treeview Road.
9.9 Long Lake Road (Municipal Road 80) Parclo B2 interchange with an additional westbound-to-northbound ramp.
13.3 Highway 69 / Municipal Road 46 Original eastern terminus of bypass until completion in 1995. Meeting point of SW and SE bypass segments. Parclo A2 interchange, with new directional ramps planned for conversion into a Parclo A4.
24.3 The Kingsway (Municipal Road 55) Eastern terminus of SE bypass. Traffic must turn to remain on Highway 17. Signalized at-grade intersection.


References

  1. http://www.sudburyswbypass.ca/FAQ's.htm, accessed April 8, 2007
  2. "Citizens voice concerns at Southwest bypass meeting". Northern Life, April 22, 2009.
  3. Public Information Centre #4 Preferred Plan, March 2009.
  4. http://www.sudburyswbypass.ca/Files/pic2/pic2_alt_1.pdf
  5. http://www.city.greatersudbury.on.ca/pubapps/newsreleases/index.cfm?lang=en&Release_id=1882, accessed July 14, 2007



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