Staff Report #5
September 27, 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 Street between Mornington and Dundas concluded on Tuesday September 19. As such, the detour to Route 20 was able to be modified and the extra Construction Connector was removed as the regular route was able to resume routing through the Mornington neighbourhood.
As construction is continuing on the East London Link including the closure of the Quebec/Dundas intersection, Route 20 remains on detour. The modified detour will have Route 20 operating westbound along Princess to English to Dundas. Eastbound buses will operate along William, York, Kellogg, Charlotte and Princess to Quebec until the East London Link Phase II work has been completed.
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.
Portions of Queens Ave were reopened to general traffic on Wednesday September 6; however, due to finishing work along the curbs and at stations as well as intermittent lane closures, all London Transit routes have remained on detour along Dufferin. Work is scheduled to be completed to a point that the bus lane and stops will be able to be reopened on Sunday October 1. There will still be some minor work to be completed in the coming weeks, but this should have limited impact on transit routes and stops in the area.
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.
The slip lane off Richmond to access the Masonville Mall terminal was reopened on September 19 and all routes resumed regular routing to service the terminal.
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.
Truth and Reconciliation Walk
A Truth and Reconciliation Walk is planned for Saturday September 30 between 10am and 3pm. The walk will travel along Longwoods, Wharncliffe, Southdale, Nixon, Upper Queens, Baseline, Westminster, Adelaide, Hill and Colborne, concluding with an hour long ceremonial dance at the Horton and Colborne intersection.
The routing will impact eight routes and require a number of detours. At the time of report writing the full impacts are not known. Planning staff will continue to work with civic administration and the event organizers to plan the appropriate detours.
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