New rail overpass improves safety and access at Milliken GO
The new overpass is just one of the many improvements along the Stouffville Line.
Oct 5, 2023
Improvements around Milliken GO Station in northeast Toronto are making it easier for community members to travel.
In addition to the newly renovated station, the neighbourhood surrounding Milliken GO Station is now benefiting from a new rail-over-road overpass, also known as a grade separation, located at Steeles Avenue East between Kennedy Road and Midland Avenue.
But what exactly is a grade separation and why do they matter?
Put simply, a grade separation is a bridge or overpass where train tracks and a road cross at different levels, and by separating the road from the rails, vehicles can pass safely under or over a railway without having to stop and wait for trains.
Steeles Avenue isn’t the only grade separation around.
In addition, the recently commissioned Davenport Diamond grade separation on the Barrie line now has GO Trains running up and over the previously intersecting freight tracks.
Rutherford GO Station and the nearby community are benefiting from the nearby grade separation completed last year.
These are just two examples of the many grade separations across the region.
How it got done
The construction was done in a ‘top-down’ style, which accelerates the process and involves constructing the bridge structure prior to completing most of the excavation for the bridge.
Localized excavations allowed for the north and south ends of the bridge to be built, and the centre pier was installed by drilling caissons.
You can learn more about how the bridge was built here.
Better access for everyone
The station upgrades, including the grade separation, mean Milliken GO customers can now access the east and west platforms from Steeles Avenue.
The grade separation also greatly increases safety for GO Train passengers, pedestrians, cyclists, and vehicles by separating a high-traffic roadway and a busy rail line.
With the bridge, there’s now easier traffic flow and reduced traffic times along Steeles Avenue East.
In addition to the grade separation, Steeles Avenue was also widened from four to six lanes, which includes the addition of bicycle lanes that provide a safe way for more bicyclists to access the station and connect with local transit options, such as the TTC.
Grade separation bridges gap for future transit
The grade separation at Milliken GO allowed for a new second track and a new east platform to be added.
This work is all part of the GO Expansion program, which will transform GO rail service from a rush-hour service to a more frequent, two-way, all-day rapid service for trains to travel both ways on the Stouffville line.
These are just some of the many improvements along the Stouffville line as Metrolinx continues to demonstrate its commitment to improving stations and transforming the entire transit network.
by Nitish Bissonauth Metrolinx bilingual editorial content advisor