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The 2nd Concession Project

The 2nd Concession is a major north‐south arterial corridor under the jurisdiction of The
Regional Municipality of York (York Region). Located in the Town of East Gwillimbury, Ontario,
the corridor crosses a popular conservation area and recreational trail, situated in the
watershed of the East Holland River which is managed by the Lake Simcoe Region Conservation
Authority (LSRCA).

York Region and the Town of East Gwillimbury are undergoing tremendous growth in
population and employment. The 2nd Concession Project improves mobility and enhances the
environment with sustainable, context sensitive infrastructure in response to growth.
The innovative, enhanced public outreach program included early and consistent stakeholder
engagement with mandatory and non‐mandatory public open house meetings, kitchen table
discussions with residents, site visits, a “visioning” workshop and regular newsletters. This
established a high degree of trust and resulted in early stakeholder buy‐in which accelerated
project timelines and saved tax dollars. The early identification of environmental enhancements
resulted in a design that improves mobility for all corridor users including pedestrians and
cyclists and promotes active transportation.

The project includes an elevated wooden boardwalk through wetlands and marshes connecting
forests with growing residential communities. There are benches, bike racks and a flagstone
meeting area. The wooden‐clad pedestrian bridge in the Rogers Reservoir Conservation Area
(Rogers Reservoir), allows an estimated 30,000 annual visitors to stand directly above the
historic canal and lock system which the project protected.

Bridges spanning an active rail corridor and the Holland River lift the newly widened and
reconstructed 2nd Concession out of the valley. The environmental footprint of the roadway is
further minimized through curvilinear and terraced tree‐patterned retaining walls. At road
level, cyclists travel on dedicated cycle tracks (a first for York Region), and can stop at lookouts
on the bridges for unobstructed views of the reservoir and wildlife.

The six‐kilometre corridor, extending from Bristol Road in the Town of Newmarket to Queensville Sideroad in the Town of East Gwillimbury, was transformed between May 2014 and August 2017 when the two‐lane local road was widened to a four‐lane urban arterial. With a high degree of community engagement, the project included road widening, trail connections, three bridges, retaining walls, active transportation infrastructure, stormwater management, gravity and large forcemain sanitary sewers and a watermain.

The 2nd Concession was the largest project tendered to date by York Region’s Transportation
Services Department. The 640 Working Day contract was tendered ahead of schedule in 2013 and working days began in May 2014. All milestones were met with no working‐day extensions
granted. The project was completed within budget. The construction schedule was controlled
with Primavera P6 Project Management scheduling software. There were zero Lost Time
Injuries. The Ministry of the Environment and Climate Change (MOECC) provided clearance to
proceed without any conditions imposed. The successful completion of the project ensured
adjacent land development could proceed on schedule. Nearly 1000 community residents
attended the official ribbon‐cutting ceremony to mark the completion of the project.

Author

Mark Nykoluk

Session title

2018 TAC Environmental Achievement Award

Organizers

Environment Council

Category

Environment

Year

2018

Format

Paper

File