Tuesday, February 27, 2024

Plan your detours— Rapid Transit construction starting on all three routes

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You’ve been warned.

All three routes of London, Ont.’s rapid transit system will be simultaneously under construction this year in and around the city’s core.

Commuters will face delays navigating major roads in Downtown London, SOHO, and the Old East Village.

“We recognize that’s a challenge, but going forward we’re really trying to make it clear how people can get around and try to mitigate those impacts,” explained Director of Construction and Infrastructure Jennie Dann.

A portion of Queens Avenue has already been closed until summer, and there is limited access west of Clarence Street.

Meanwhile, Wellington Street is about to be reduced to two lanes between the Thames River and Dufferin Avenue.

The construction of rapid transit will resume this month along King Street and part of Dundas Street near the Western Fair District.

“It’s definitely a big headache,” said driver Erica Fraser. “We just have to get used to it and try to make our way around.”

“Now is the time to see if your commute is impacted,” advised Dann. “Plan in an extra bit of time and use some of the navigation apps that are available like Waze and Google maps.”

The scale and complexity of the work to replace underground infrastructure and install rapid transit lanes has triggered an early start to construction season this month.

Waiting in her car near the Queens Avenue closure, driver Dani Dusa considered the detours to be a worthwhile inconvenience.

“It’s going to make a big difference for our community and for the environment as well,” Dusa added. “I’m willing to deal with any of the repercussions and delays that are bound to happen.”

The rapid transit system is scheduled to be completed in 2026, but upcoming years will be a bit easier on commuters.

“With the Downtown Loop Phase 3 and Wellington Gateway Phase 1 (to be completed) this year, rapid transit will be out of the core and there will be a lot less construction downtown next year,” explained Dann.

Work on Queens Avenue is expected to conclude this summer, but this year’s other rapid transit projects will continue until December.

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