Veterans Memorial Parkway


Veterans Memorial Parkway

A signpost on the VMP

Veterans Memorial Parkway

The VMP

Formerly Airport Road

Formerly Highway 100
Route information
Maintained by City of London
Length: 9.2 km (5.7 mi)
History:

Opened in 1977 as a two-lane expressway

Widened in 2006 to a modern, at-grade expressway
Major junctions
North end: Ontario 401.svgM-C Freeway.png Highway 401
  Hamilton Road, Dundas Street, Oxford Street
South end:

Huron Street

(To be extended to Clarke Road)
Location
Major cities: London
Highway system

Roads in Ontario

Ontario municipal expressways (in alphabetical order)
← Red Hill Valley Parkway Veterans Memorial Parkway W.R. Allen Road →

The Veterans Memorial Parkway (VMP) is a 9.2 km (5.7 mi) expressway located in London, Ontario. The expressway was previously known as Highway 100 from 1977 until 1994 and as Airport Road prior to September 2006.[1] It is currently an at-grade, four-lane expressway. Long term plans / proposals for the route include north and south extensions of the road and grade separated interchanges along its entire length, converting it to a freeway.[2]

Contents

History

Intersection along the Veterans Memorial Parkway.
Flagpoles along the southbound lanes of Veterans Memorial Parkway near the Highway 401 interchange.

In the late 1960s, the highway was conceived by the Ontario government as a freeway bypass that would run along the eastern and northern parts of London.[citation needed] The road would connect to Highway 401 in the south and join up with Highway 402 in the west.[citation needed] This plan, however, never came to fruition due to city council's reluctance to fund an urban freeway.[citation needed]

Instead as a compromise, the City of London and the province decided that the proposed road would be constructed as a two-lane highway from Highway 401 north to Oxford Street.[citation needed] The design included a 250-metre (820 ft) wide right-of-way so additional lanes could be built in the future. As well, the road would be designated as Highway 100 and named Airport Road.

Construction began in early 1975, with its official opening in 1977. Upon completion, the highway was controversial since it was not built as a proper freeway. The road featured traffic lights instead of interchanges at intersections.

Also, since it was constructed as a two-lane highway initially, there was growing frustration with poor traffic flow and the inability for vehicles to pass. The Hanlon Parkway or Highway 6 North in Guelph, which was built around the same time, had similar features and controversies as Airport Road. Both had the same overpass contractors for their trumpet interchanges with Highway 401,[citation needed] and both were not full freeways.

The Ministry of Transportation downloaded the highway to the city of London and the County of Middlesex in 1994, but has maintained the road as a connecting link.

In 1997, the road was extended further north from Oxford to Huron Street.

In 2004, the City of London began to widen Airport Road from Highway 401 north to Oxford Street.[3] The project included widening the road to a 4-lane, divided highway with room for future interchanges and overpasses, similar to that of the Hanlon Parkway. The widening was completed in late 2005.[citation needed]

In September 2006, the road was renamed Veterans Memorial Parkway as a tribute to Canadian Veterans (from World War I, World War II and the Korean War).[4] It is also sometimes referred to as Veterans by locals.[citation needed]

During 2010, the VMP underwent a beautification project. This included a large gateway monument which was installed on the northbound lanes near the Highway 401 interchange, greeting motorists entering the expressway,[5] planting trees along the entire length of the expressway,[6] and raising flagpoles in tribute to Canadian veterans.[7][8]

Future extensions, London Ring Road

London's original ring road was initially planned to be Highbury Avenue, also known as Highway 126, which was opened in 1963.[9] Its exit with Highway 401 is the next one west of Veterans Memorial Parkway. Local opposition resulted in Highbury Avenue's truncation at Hamilton Road.[10]

The City of London has short-term plans to extend Veterans Memorial Parkway to connect with Clarke Road near the Fanshawe Conservation Area. Also, extending Veterans Memorial Parkway south of Highway 401 to Highway 3 in St. Thomas remains a future possibility. Widening the road between Oxford Street and Huron Street / Robin's Hill Road is also in the city's short term transportation objectives.[11] An environmental study is underway to reconstruct the three-way trumpet interchange with Highway 401 into a four-way interchange that would connect the expressway to Wilton Grove Road and potentially as far south as St. Thomas.[12][13]

In 2007, the City of London conducted an environmental assessment on potential interchange locations to be built along Veterans Memorial Parkway.[14][15] These plans are within a 10-20 year time frame.

The City of London conducted a long-term transportation corridor protection study in 2001 and noted that the Veterans Memorial Parkway (then Airport Road) would serve as the city's eastern expressway when the city reaches its projected full build-out potential.[16]

Long-term plans call for Veterans Memorial Parkway to be included as the eastern leg of a future London Ring Road. These proposals have been discussed since the 1960s and recently have been revived.[17] The eastern corridor for a ring road would use Veterans Memorial Parkway in the east, then continue north along Clarke Road. A western link would start at Highway 402 and head north between Westdel Bourne Road and Woodhull Road.

The northern corridor is a major stumbling block since the lands needed within the city limits have been developed.[citation needed] The only available route possible would be outside of the city in Middlesex Centre.[citation needed] Although talks continue between both municipalities, only the province can approve the plan.

Even if a route for the highway is selected soon, it would not likely be built for 20–30 years.[citation needed]

Future interchanges

The City of London has assessed the entire length of the Veterans Memorial Parkway, identifying areas where interchanges can be constructed, grade separations can occur, and cul-de-sacs can be placed. Upon completion, the Veterans Memorial Parkway would no longer be an expressway, but a freeway, for the majority of its length.[18]

Kilometre Post Intersecting Roads Notes
0 Ontario 401.svgM-C Freeway.png Highway 401 (trumpet interchange) 4-way interchange and extension to Wilton Grove Road planned. Construction to begin in 2013
1 Bradley Avenue (at-grade intersection) Parclo interchange proposed (folded diamond), currently under review
3 Hamilton Road (at-grade intersection) Parclo A-4 interchange planned, alternative designs proposed
4 River Road (at-grade intersection) Overpass planned
5 Gore Road (at-grade intersection) Diamond interchange proposed
6 Tartan Drive (at-grade intersection) Cul-de-sacs proposed
6 Trafalgar Street (at-grade intersection) Diamond interchange proposed
7 Admiral Drive (at-grade intersection) Cul-de-sacs proposed
7 Dundas Street (at-grade intersection) Diamond interchange proposed
8 Page Street (at-grade intersection) Cul-de-sacs proposed
8 Oxford Street (at-grade intersection, narrows to two-lanes) Diamond interchange proposed
9 Huron Street (at-grade intersection, highway ends) Diamond interchange proposed

Extension to Clarke Road planned

References

  1. ^ Cameron Bevers. "The King's Highway 100 (#2)". http://www.thekingshighway.ca/Highway100_2.htm. Retrieved November 5, 2010. "The second King's Highway 100 was a staged freeway constructed along the eastern side of London during the 1970s." 
  2. ^ Doug Green (October 16, 2006). "COMMENCEMENT OF THE VETERANS MEMORIAL PARKWAY INTERCHANGE CLASS ENVIRONMENTAL ASSESSMENT AND CONCURRENT NOTICE OF APPLICATION TO AMEND THE OFFICIAL PLAN & ZONING BY-LAW". http://www.london.ca/Transportation/PDFs/EA_Notice_VMP_Interchanges.doc. Retrieved November 5, 2010. "The City of London proposes to identify interchange locations along the entire length of the Veteran’s Memorial Parkway (formerly Airport Road) corridor." 
  3. ^ City of London (May 2004). "TRANSPORTATION MASTER PLAN". http://www.london.ca/Transportation/PDFs/TMPFinal.pdf. Retrieved November 30, 2010. "2004 Approved Capital Project: Airport Road widening from 2 to 4 through lanes with new bridge over Thames River and CP Rail, between Highway 401 and Oxford Street." 
  4. ^ City of London (September 15, 2006). "Veterans Memorial Parkway Dedication Ceremony". http://www.london.ca/d.aspx?s=/War_Dead_and_Veteran_Tributes/memorialparkway.htm. Retrieved November 5, 2010. "London's Airport Road was officially renamed Veterans Memorial Parkway in a City ceremony held September 15, 2006." 
  5. ^ ReForest London (Spring 2010). "Veterans Memorial Parkway with Scoutrees". http://www.irenemathyssen.ca/node/1054. Retrieved November 8, 2010. "tributes to our veterans will be erected along Veterans Memorial Parkway" 
  6. ^ Irene Mathyssen (April 9, 2010). "Making Veterans Memorial Parkway a Fitting Tribute to Our Veterans". http://reforestlondon.ca/veterans-memorial-parkway-scoutrees. Retrieved November 8, 2010. "It was quite a site to see hundreds of volunteers on both sides of the Parkway planting 1,000 trees. An additional 2,000 trees and shrubs were planted in parks throughout the city." 
  7. ^ City of London (November 5, 2010). "Veterans Memorial Parkway site of flag-raising salute to Canadian Veterans". http://www.london.ca/d.aspx?s=/Newsroom/news_VMP_Nov2010.htm. Retrieved November 8, 2010. "Today’s ceremony included a flag party march, the raising of federal, provincial and territorial flags." 
  8. ^ Elgin Central (November 5, 2010). "Flag Raising Salute to Canadian Veterans". http://www.elgincentral.com/news/local/flag_raising_salute_to_canadian_veterans.aspx. Retrieved November 8, 2010. "honoured Canadian veterans today at the unveiling of a permanent display of flags on one section of the Veterans Memorial Parkway." 
  9. ^ Cameron Bevers. "The King's Highway 126". http://www.thekingshighway.ca/Highway126.htm. Retrieved November 27, 2010. "Highway 126 was opened from Highway 401 to Hamilton Road on December 9, 1963." 
  10. ^ Cameron Bevers. "The King's Highway 126". http://www.thekingshighway.ca/Highway126.htm. Retrieved November 27, 2010. "plans to extend the Highway 126 Freeway further north were eventually scrapped." 
  11. ^ City of London (May 2004). "TRANSPORTATION MASTER PLAN". http://www.london.ca/Transportation/PDFs/TMPFinal.pdf. Retrieved November 30, 2010. "Airport Road widening from 2 to 4 through lanes from Oxford Street to Huron Street." 
  12. ^ City of London Transportation division (November 13, 2007). "Veterans Memorial Parkway, Environmental Study, Official Plan and Zoning Amendment". http://www.london.ca/Transportation/PDFs/VMP-PIC_PLANS.pdf. Retrieved April 26, 2010. "Veterans Memorial Parkway: Preferred Alternative to Highway 401/VMP interchange." 
  13. ^ City of London Transportation division (May 30, 2007). "Veterans Memorial Parkway, Interchange-class environmental assessment study". http://www.london.ca/Transportation/PDFs/Revised_Final_PIC_Boards.pdf. Retrieved April 26, 2010. "Reformatting the Highway 401/VMP interchange." 
  14. ^ Doug Green (May 30, 2007). "CITY OF LONDON CLASS ENVIRONMENTAL ASSESSMENT PROPOSED OFFICIAL PLAN AND ZONING BY-LAW AMENDMENT VETERAN’S MEMORIAL PARKWAY (FORMERLY AIRPORT ROAD) NOTICE OF PUBLIC INFORMATION CENTRE". http://www.london.ca/Transportation/PDFs/PIC_Notice.doc. Retrieved November 5, 2010. "The anticipated changes to the Official Plan and Zoning By-law include identifying new proposed interchange sites along the Veterans Memorial Parkway corridor" 
  15. ^ Karl Grabowski (November 13, 2007). "NOTICE OF PUBLIC INFORMATION CENTRE NO. 2 VETERANS MEMORIAL PARKWAY INTERCHANGE CLASS ENVIRONMENTAL ASSESSMENT AND CONCURRENT NOTICE OF APPLICATION TO AMEND THE OFFICIAL PLAN & ZONING BY-LAW". http://www.london.ca/Transportation/PDFs/VMP-Notice2.pdf. Retrieved November 5, 2010. "the City intends to proceed with finalizing a report outlining the preferred future road design for the Veterans Memorial Parkway." 
  16. ^ City of London (April 5, 2001). "LONDON LONG TERM TRANSPORTATION CORRIDOR PROTECTION STUDY". http://www.london.ca/Transportation/PDFs/LondonExecSumApril5.pdf. Retrieved November 30, 2010. "This study recommends the City protect for a four lane expressway facility along Airport Road from Highway 401 to Sunningdale Road." 
  17. ^ LARRY CORNIES (November 6, 2010). "Ring road around London still a dream". http://www.lfpress.com/comment/columnists/larry_cornies/2010/11/05/15989576.html. Retrieved November 8, 2010. "city politicians have tried a few times to revive the ring-road concept, but were twice foiled by the Ontario Municipal Board." 
  18. ^ City of London and Giffels (December 13, 2007). "VETERANS MEMORIAL PARKWAY INTERCHANGE CLASS ENVIRONMENTAL ASSESSMENT STUDY AND CONCURRENT APPLICATION TO AMEND THE OFFICIAL PLAN AND ZONING BY-LAW". http://www.london.ca/Transportation/PDFs/VMP-Notice2.pdf. Retrieved November 5, 2010. "The freeway design will reduce the congestion on the road network and improve overall safety while maintaining shorter travel time along the entire corridor to full build out conditions." 

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