Staff Report #10
August 30, 2023
To All Commissioners
Re: 2023 Road Construction and Special Events Update
The report be NOTED and FILED.
As has been the case over the past number of years, the City of London has undertaken a large number of construction projects during the 2023 construction season, many of which have impacts to transit routes and schedule adherence.
Administration works 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.
Quebec Street Infrastructure Renewal
Construction on Quebec St. between Oxford and the CP Tracks began on Monday April 17. This project, combined with the existing detour in place for the East London Link construction, has had significant impacts on Route 20. With Quebec St. closed north of the tracks and Dundas closed between Ontario St. and Egerton for East London Link, Route 20 has been detoured to York/Florence between William and Kellogg Lane and Dundas between Kellogg Lane and Highbury for the duration of the project. In order to maintain service through the Mornington area, a special Construction Tripper has been added during all operating periods. The Tripper operates between Fanshawe College and the Mornington area to connect with the mainline Route 20 for passengers to be able to complete their travels. While this approach requires passengers to transfer to complete their trips, it is the only option available that allows service to be provided into the Mornington area due to the limited detour options as a result of significant construction happening in this area. There is no transit service provided along Quebec during the infrastructure renewal work.
At time of report writing, it is anticipated that Quebec south of Mornington will be reopened for traffic in mid-September. With the planned reopening, Route 20 will be able to resume regular westbound operation through the Mornington neighbourhood, eliminating the need for the construction tripper. As the work on Dundas will be continuing beyond this time, a detour will still be required away from that work area. Through an evaluation of all of the detour options, it has been determined that the best detour route is to operate along Queens Ave. While this will result in no stops on Queens between Quebec and Adelaide due to the protected cycle lanes, it provides the best service level possible to customers by being able to maintain service along Quebec. In the eastbound direction, the detour will operate along York, Kellogg, Dundas, Dorinda, Princess to Quebec.
Downtown Loop Phase II
Construction on Phase II of the Downtown Loop along Queens Ave between Wellington and Ridout, started in the 2022 construction season. Due to construction delays the project was not able to be completed last year and as such has carried over into the 2023 construction season.
Construction resumed on Wednesday March 1 with the full closure of Queens Ave between Wellington and Clarence. Additional work will also be occurring at the Queens and Richmond intersection as well as finishing work west of Richmond. In order to provide a consistent detour throughout the construction period and reduce confusion for passengers, all 12 routes normally operating on Queens Ave have been detoured to Dufferin between Waterloo and Ridout.
At time of report writing, Queens Ave is scheduled to be paved overnight on Sunday August 27. The work through the Richmond intersection is scheduled to occur after last buses have travelled through Richmond and Queens to avoid additional detours for north/south buses. Additionally finishing work will still be required after the paving is completed, but it is anticipated that transit should be able to resume regular routing along Queens in early September.
East London Link Phase I
Overnight closures along King Street between Wellington and Lyle are scheduled for August 29 to September 8 to allow for surface paving to complete the East London Link Phase I work. As eastbound transit routes through the downtown are currently detoured using King to Waterloo while the work on Downtown Loop Phase III continues on Wellington, this will require a modification to the eastbound routing to operate along York. In order to avoid confusion during this work, all buses will remain on detour for the duration of the work as opposed to modifying the detour when King is opened during the day.
East London Link Phase II
East London Link Phase II involves construction on King between Lyle and Ontario St., Ontario St. between King and Dundas and Dundas between Ontario St. and Egerton. Construction began on March 13 with the main impact to transit being the full closure of Dundas between Ontario and Egerton, resulting in the need to detour Routes 2, 20 and 94.
All routes normally operating on Dundas have been detoured to Florence/York between Kellogg Lane and William in both directions. As a result of other planned construction in the area during the 2023 construction season as well as operational turning impacts, the detour extends past the limits of the construction zone.
The construction is anticipated to be completed in December 2023.
Downtown Loop Phase III
Phase III of the Downtown Loop, Wellington between York and Queens Ave began construction early April. Construction work is divided into phases with one lane of traffic being maintained northbound and southbound throughout the duration.
As there is only a single lane in each direction, all transit stops within the construction zone are closed. In an effort to reduce impacts on schedule adherence as well as provide transit stops between York and Queens, buses normally travelling north and south on Wellington will be detoured to Waterloo.
Additionally, with the lane shifts that is required for the construction, it is not operationally feasible for buses travelling eastbound on King to turn onto Wellington and as such, these routes are also detoured to Waterloo.
Construction is anticipated to continue until the end of December.
Wellington Gateway I
Construction on the first phase of the Wellington Gateway Rapid Transit Leg commenced in mid-March, with work taking place between York and the Thames River (north of Grand). As Wellington only has a single vehicle lane in each direction within the limits of the construction work, all northbound and southbound stops in this area are closed for the duration of the project.
Routes 13 and 90 are detoured via Grand, Carfrae/Richmond to maintain schedule adherence and provide stop locations for passengers. Route 1 will maintain regular routing along Wellington in order to continue to access to South Street, Grey Street, and Colborne, noting that there will not be stops on Wellington for Route 1 during construction.
Construction is anticipated to continue until the end of December.
Work continues on the Victoria Bridge reconstruction, with a full closure of Ridout Street. Routes 4, 15 and 104 continue to detour via Grand, Carfrae/Richmond. Work is anticipated to be completed in fall 2023.
Adelaide Street North Underpass
Construction began on the Adelaide Street underpass on April 21, 2022. The temporary by-pass road was opened on September 14, 2022, providing a single lane of traffic on Adelaide between Central and McMahen Street through McMahen Park. As there is only a single lane of traffic, temporary bus stops have not been implemented on the temporary by-pass road. Passengers have been directed to catch the bus at the closest stops north and south of the construction area.
Routes 16 and 92 were temporarily on detour from August 23 to August 29 as Adelaide was fully closed to allow for the lifting of the first of two new rail bridges. The second lifting is planned for the end of September which will see another 3 day closure of Adelaide. During both of these closures buses are detoured via Princess, William and Piccadilly.
The work is currently scheduled to continue through to summer 2025.
Fanshawe and Richmond Intersection Improvements
Work to improve the Fanshawe and Richmond intersection began on Sunday May 14.
While it was originally anticipated that access to the Masonville Mall terminal would be maintained through the construction project; however, due to lane shifting the slip lanes that the buses use to access and exit the Masonville Mall Terminal off Richmond were closed beginning early July. As a result, all routes normally serving Masonville Mall terminal have been detoured via Jacksway and Sunnyside. Buses are also using the detour routing for layovers that would normally have taken place inside the terminal. It is anticipated that the slip lanes will be closed until September or October.
Pond Mills Road- Bradley to Wilton Grove
Construction on Pond Mills Road between Bradley and Wilton Grove started on Monday May 29 and is anticipated to continue until approximately October 27. In addition, the on ramp at Bradley and Highbury is closed until Wednesday November 22 resulting in very limited detour options in this area for the Route 30. In order to maintain service to as much of the Industrial area as possible during this construction period the detour is operating along Bradley, Old Victoria Road to Wilton Grove. There will not be transit service along Pond Mills or Enterprise west of Midpark during this time. As this is a commuter route to service the Wilton Grove Industrial Area, information has been sent to affected business in the area to advise of potential schedule adherence delays as a result of the detour.
Exeter at White Oak Road
Work was to have commenced in mid to late July at the intersection of Exeter and White Oak Road; however, at time of report writing, a date for this closure had yet to be determined. When the work does commence, it is anticipated to last approximately one week. There will be significant impacts to the Route 28, which will not be able to provide transit service along Exeter between Wharncliffe and White Oak Road, impacting the commercial-industrial area. Due to the limited road network as well as ongoing work on White Oak Road between Exeter and Blakie, there are very limited detour options and as such buses will have to be detoured via Wharncliffe, Legendary, Paulpeel, Bateman, White Oaks Road.
Oxford Street Lane Restrictions
Due to multiple projects happening along Oxford, there will be a number of lane restrictions which will have impacts to routes operating along the corridor. Lane restrictions will be happening at Beaverbrook, Mud Creek, Gower, Platt’s Lane and Quebec until approximately mid-September and will have impacts on Routes 4, 17, 20, 91 and 104, with Routes 17 and 91 being impacted by all of the projects. Communication has gone out to advise passengers to leave extra time as a result of schedule adherence delays and additional messaging will be put out as the students return in early September.
Western Orientation Week
As in past years, during the Orientation week at Western (September 3 to September 9), a number of internal roadways will be closed to accommodate events around campus. Each night between 6pm and 2am University Drive Bridge, Lambton Drive and Huron Drive will be closed for vehicle traffic, which will result in detours for all routes serving Western. In addition on Tuesday September 5 Alumni Circle will also be closed from 9 am to 6 pm.
The underlying goals with respect to communication 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 which, as noted above, includes posting information on internal boards, the website, real-time/Infoweb alerts and social media as well as through stop level notifications which will provide passengers with information regarding which stops are closed and direct them to the closest stop location. On board announcements also indicate to passengers when a bus is starting along a detour routing and when the bus has returned back to regular route.
Shawn Wilson, Director of Operations
Katie Burns, Director of Planning
Concurred in by:
Kelly S. Paleczny, General Manager