A $58-million plan to reduce the impact of trains on a major downtown artery is heading to full council.
City politicians will vote Tuesday on whether to approve the environmental assessment for the proposed Adelaide Street North underpass.
“I’m really excited to see this move forward, said Mayor Matt Brown. “That underpass was identified as a number one infrastructure project from an underpass/overpass perspective by last council as part of the initial work we did for bus rapid transit (BRT).”
“It is essential for us to [move forward with this underpass] as we move forward with plans for BRT.”
According to Brown, BRT alone will help reduce traffic, but with major BRT routes proposed along Richmond Street, he said there needs to be another option for drivers travelling north-south through the city.
“There are actually two that we’re working on. The first is Wharncliffe Road and Western Road. That widening is happening right now. You can see that road has gone from two lanes to four lanes,” said Brown.
“The next and bigger solution is Adelaide Street.”
According to the study, delays caused by trains happen 20 times a day on average, often exceeding two hours of total delays each day.
The proposed underpass would run from Central Avenue to Pall Mall Street and McMahen Street, allowing regular traffic and emergency vehicles to avoid passing trains by going under the rail lines.
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If approved by council when they meet at 4 p.m. Tuesday, Londoners would have 30 days to review the report and provide feedback.
The project would then move on to the detailed design and property acquisition phase.
If all the necessary approvals come through, construction on the project could start in 2021.