Staff Report #5
July 29, 2020
To All Commissioners
Re: 2020 Road Construction Update
The report be NOTED and FILED.
LTC administration has been working closely with civic administration as well as the specific contractors on each major construction project to ensure regular communication regarding the status of the projects in an effort to mitigate the impact of construction on service and ridership by allowing buses to operate in work zones where it is deemed safe to do so. LTC administration attends weekly conference calls with civic administration specifically to discuss the impacts of ongoing and upcoming downtown construction projects.
While the impacts of the 2020 construction projects have not been as significant as expected to date due to reductions in both vehicle traffic as well as the number of buses on the road, it is anticipated that the impacts will start to be realized as more businesses continue to open as a result of COVID-19 restrictions easing.
Work on Richmond between York and Dundas commenced on May 4, 2020 and is projected to be completed at the end of November 2020. Routes 4, 6 and 15 were impacted with the start of Phase I between York and King, resulting in detours both northbound and southbound. Schedule adherence issues continue to be minimal with the reduced traffic volumes through the core.
Phase II of the construction commenced on July 6, 2020 which resulted in the full closure of King and Richmond, it is anticipated that this phase will last until Labour Day. In addition to the above noted routes impacted by Phase I, Routes 2, 5, 7, 9, 12, 19 and 20 are impacted in the eastbound direction and Routes 3, 13 and 90 are impacted southbound. The detour routing is utilizing Ridout and York for both southbound and eastbound buses which limits connectivity in the core for transfers. Additionally, all other vehicle traffic is utilizing the same detour routing resulting in increased congestion. To date, the schedule adherence impact has been limited; however, with the recent move to Stage 3 of reopening, it is anticipated that there will be greater impacts to schedule adherence in the coming weeks. The Planning department will continue to monitor impacts of the construction and resulting detour and make adjustments to limit schedule adherence impacts as required and resources allow.
On July 24, 2020, London Transit was notified that there were some delays with the progress of the work on the King and Richmond intersection and as a result, Phase III may be starting earlier than scheduled to be able to maintain the construction schedule. Should Phase III commence prior to the completion of Phase II all routes will remain on the above noted detour for the duration of the project. Updates on the status of construction and resulting detours will be provided to the Commission as required.
Dundas between English and Ontario
Full road reconstruction has commenced on Dundas between English and Ontario. The detour on Routes 2 and 20 will remain in place until the completion of the project, which is anticipated to be October 31, 2020. As part of the reconstruction, cycle lanes will also be installed along this portion of Dundas, which may have impacts on the current stop locations in this area.
Dundas between Adelaide and Wellington
Cycle Track work is scheduled to commence in early August on Dundas between Adelaide and Wellington. The construction is anticipated to continue through November. During the construction, all shelters within the construction limits will be removed. At this time, it is anticipated that two-way traffic will be maintained through the construction area either by shifting traffic or flagging.
In addition to the operational impacts associated with the construction of the cycle track along Dundas, London Transit has concerns regarding the final design of the track and bus stop islands that could have a significant impact on future transit operations along the corridor. As has been in the case with the King Street transit islands, the design along Dundas has some islands that appear, in drawings recently received, to not be long enough to accommodate the rear door alighting. Additionally, the islands do not appear to be wide enough to accommodate the intended shelter and allow for accessibility with the deployment of the ramp. In some instances, the shelter may be able to be relocated to the center of the platform to allow adequate space to accommodate mobility aids; however, this will not be the case for all stops. As a result, some shelters may need to be removed along the corridor.
The plans also indicate a shared transit/cycle track stop at Dundas and Maitland eastbound, which will result in the deployment of the ramp into the cycle track. London Transit has significant safety concerns regarding this design and the potential conflict between boarding and alighting passengers and cyclists.
While London Transit was consulted during the initial design phases of the plan and concerns with the above noted design elements were expressed to civic administration, the final designs do not reflect any changes with respect to the initial concerns.
A full assessment of the corridor will be required following construction for operational feasibility, which may result in the elimination of some stops and/or shelters.
Work on Wonderland Road between Wharncliffe and Bradley started on May 4, 2020. The work not only affects Route 12, but also has operating impacts for the Wonderland Facility. It is anticipated that the entrances to the Wonderland facility will be impacted during Phase III for approximately two weeks. London Transit is in regular communication with the contractor on the project to ensure that at least one entrance/exit into the facility is maintained at all times throughout the project to ensure that operations can continue out of the facility.
Route 12 is also currently operating on detour as a result of reduced lanes northbound on Wonderland. With the closure of the dedicated turn lane from Wharncliffe to Wonderland the bus turning movements could not be accommodated. The detour adds very limited time to the route and continues to serve all stops along the regular routing.
Wilton Grove Road
Construction on Wilton Grove Road continues and is currently taking place between Commerce and Old Victoria Road. Phase IV of this construction project impacts Route 30 as the intersection of Cheese Factory Road and Wilton Grove Road is currently closed. In order to continue to provide service to the Commerce, Max Brose and Cheese Factory area, Parts Canada has agreed to allow transit buses to utilize their facility as a turn-around location. This allows all businesses in this area to continue to be served and only the stop in front of Parts Canada is missed. A temporary stop has been established on Parts Canada property to ensure businesses to the south are still able to access transit.
The next phase of the construction will have a much more significant impact on the routing as the intersection of Commerce and Wilton Grove will be impacted, resulting in service not being provided to this area at all. LTC administration is continuing to work with civic administration with regards to possible turn-around locations to be able to provide service as close to this area as possible during this next phase of construction. Updates will be provided to the Commission as appropriate.
The underlying goals with respect to communications regarding detours are to provide passengers and Operators with as much information as far in advance as possible, noting that dates and impacts can change without notice. Accomplishing both of these goals requires a balanced approach.
A communication strategy has been developed and implemented with respect to service interruptions in an effort to ensure passengers and bus Operators are aware of the detours with as much advance notice as possible, including stop level notifications of upcoming closures, website and real-time/Infoweb alerts, Twitter and internal information boards.
Shawn Wilson – Director of Operations
Katie Burns – Director of Planning
Concurred in by:
Kelly S. Paleczny – General Manager