The Gardiner Expressway will be closed throughout the weekend as city workers undertake regular maintenance and prepare for three upcoming construction projects.

From Friday night at 10 p.m. to Sunday at noon, the entire span of the Gardiner between Carlaw Avenue and Highway 427 will be closed for crews to fill potholes, inspect bridges, apply pavement markings, install new signs and clear catch basins.

During the closure, the city recommends drivers use Lake Shore Boulevard and The Queensway as alternates, as well as Richmond, Adelaide, King or Queen streets in the downtown core.

Drivers should expect delays on the detour routes.

The weekend shutdown will be followed by a series of overnight lane closures starting Monday, that will affect the eastbound lanes of the Gardiner between Carlaw Avenue and the Humber River starting Monday.

The major closures are signs of three scheduled projects to upgrade the aging expressway by December 2016.

The centre median will be replaced between Ellis Avenue and Dufferin Street by August, according to the city's website.

Some lanes will be closed between the Humber River and Park Lawn Road for structural rehabilitation of three bridges. The city has predicted that work will be done by December.

City crews will also replace the deck on the Gardiner's elevated portion from the Canadian National Exhibition at Strachan Avenue to Grand Magazine Street. The west deck replacement is expected to begin Sunday and end in June 2016, with a pause for the Pan Am Games in July, 2015. For most of the deck replacement, at least one lane of traffic will be closed in each direction, the city said.