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Mayor seeks closure changes PDF Print E-mail
Written by Submitted   
Saturday, 25 February 2012 01:33

On February 22 Highway 401 eastbound between Colborne and Brighton was closed down for about 10 hours while police and Special Investigation Unit officials investigated a minor accident that occurred during a police chase on the highway near the Lake Rd. overpass in Cramahe.


The closure created havoc on County Rd. 2 with the entire stretch at a standstill at times. Drivers sought alternative routes across the township and residents on Telephone, Purdy and County Rd. 21 saw transports and various other vehicles trying to make time.


 Cramahe Mayor Marc Coombs is unhappy with the situation and has been taking steps to remedy the problem in the future. He has sent us the following letter to residents of Cramahe Township.


Open letter to residents of Cramahe Township


marcI'd like to take this opportunity to advise that I share your concerns over the lengthy closure of the 401 this past Wednesday. Myself and other members of Council have heard from many of you regarding your dissatisfaction over this whole affair and please be aware that we are just as concerned.


The closure of one of the busiest highways in North America shouldn't be taken lightly and I'm sure you'll agree with me that if there is a fatality or a serious situation that requires extrication we understand if there has to be a closure of the 401 that may run into several hours. But like you, I am having a hard time understanding the length of the closure required on Wednesday. As you probably know, the Special Investigations Unit (SIU) was called in to investigate as an accident and injury had occurred as a result of a police pursuit. As such, their authority trumps that of the local OPP detachment. We will be looking to the SIU for a full accounting of their decision to shut down the 401 for ten hours and the resulting chaos as well as a response as to the length of the closure.


I have reached out to my fellow Mayors in Northumberland County and have received their support as well as that of senior County staff to start discussions in order to find both short term and long term solutions so that we aren't faced again with the issues we faced on Wednesday.


OPP Detachment Commander Doug Borton has also contacted me and is committed to meeting with the local Mayors, the County and the Ministry of Transportation in order to evaluate how 401 closures occur and how we can make the process more efficient as well as safer for the travelling public and less of a burden to local residents & businesses who are unduly inconvenienced.


I would be interested in any comments or feedback you wish to pass along.


Best Regards,




+1 #7 Guest 2012-03-08 23:07
Karen I will try and correct you..no the MTO did not close the road the OPP did..but inform you EDRs are established for eastbound closures and westbound closures..when an eastbound closure occurs as it did! Traffic is to proceed south down Percy St(25) turn left at King St and follow County Rd 2 to County Rd 30 in Brighton then north back to the 401,in the event of a westbound closure and traffic is forced off at Percy St exit 497 Traffic is to follow 25 North through Castleton then follow County 22 west through Centerton...at County Rd 45 turn left and drive south to 401. The signs have arrows..its simple follow the arrows..the Northumberland County Website says County Rd 25 is an Edr from County Rd 22 to a point where it becomes Toronto Rd(Colborne) and County Rd 2 is an EDR from Town of Colborne Boundry to Brighton..it is erroronious in that it does not mention King St from Toronto Rd/25 to the Boundry nor Main St in Brighton from Town of Brighton boundry to County Rd 30...Take a drive and look for the signs..if traffic was to follow County Rd 25 north as you allude people headed east would end up in Hastings! Hope this clarifies things.
-1 #6 Guest 2012-03-06 15:39
Response #3: The MTO did not close the 401 this day and had no authority over it. If you do some research, you will realise the EDRs for our area were set a couple of years ago after the exact consultation you quoted and resulted in: north up 25 and either west along 22 or east along 25. Lyle EDR is also northward as is Hwy 45. Hwy 2 is not a designated EDR.
+1 #5 Guest 2012-02-27 14:00
Why were the EDRs not used? Heard radio guy suggesting people to take Telephone road. Also heard a citizen was directing traffic in colborne while a cop was sitting in cruiser nearby.
+2 #4 Guest 2012-02-26 10:34
2 of our family members were stuck in that 401 closure on Wed evening for 4 hours,thank goodness they had phones so could let us know where they were, as we expected them around 7pm. They finally arrived at midnight,tired and hungry. I hope no one needed an ambulance that night. There should be a way to have at least part of the hwy open.
+2 #3 Guest 2012-02-25 13:40
Tens hours is excessive..cont ray the MTO website saying.."The duration of a highway closure will vary depending on the extent and nature of the incident. Most incidents normally require approximately two to three hours to clear." The choice of the detours is a major factor..again why through the middle of Town...to quote the MTO again.. "How are the Emergency Detour Routes (EDRs) selected?
Emergency Detour Routes (EDRs) are developed by the municipality with the MTO and the police. They are based on several factors including travel time and a route's ability to efficiently accommodate increased traffic volumes." So we are our own worst enemies as to where all that traffic goes...somebody ok`d the route...Percy and King are under County jurisdiction..s o Cramahe Twps representative at a County level is the one to deal with this..
+3 #2 Guest 2012-02-25 08:54
Unfortunatly it is something we will have to live with..10 hours is excessive..but it is the design of the 401 and choice of the "EDR" routes...an example in our immediate area being the 401 has a continuous monolithic concrete center median from just west of Grafton to the Herley Rd Bridge...then again from Lake Rd to the Cramahe/Brighto n border. This only affords two exits and two turn arounds within 20kms..inconven ient but not uncommon on rural streatchs of 400 series Highways. The solution? Perhaps model our Hwys after those superwide Interstates just south of us..with Paved 20ft wide shoulders and multiple paved turn arounds this having the ability to create "EDR" routes by diverting traffic through said turnarounds occupying one lane in opposing lanes only to be diverted back through the next turnaround to have traffic return back to proper side of highway once past the "problem"...unt il such a time I guess we will have to deal with this "rare" occurance..at least we had visitors/passer bys to the Business District..not just popping into Tims(2010 Business of the Year :-? ) and back on the 401..just imagine the impact if this occured during "Apple Blossom"!
+3 #1 Guest 2012-02-25 08:31
I totally agree with Mayor Marc Coombs regarding the shutdown of the busiest highway in Canada for what turns out to be a minor problem last Wednesday.
Whoever was responsible for this decision should be immediately fired, no notice, no severence.
If this is an example of decisions made, by even an arms length section, of the Province of Ontario, then God help us, and we are lucky that our deficit is only Sixteen billion.

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