The completion date for restoration of streetcar service on southern Spadina and Queens Quay has been pushed back due to winter weather delays to, probably, the end of August 2014. Today, I spoke with Waterfront Toronto to find out how various parts of the project fit together.
Work at Spadina Loop cannot proceed into the intersection (the south half of the loop) until traffic can shift to the south side of the street, but that is currently prevented by utility work still in progress on that side from Rees Street west. Pole installation at Spadina for the new overhead is also a limiting factor and this has to work around the traffic moves.
Waterfront Toronto now expects that Spadina Loop will be completed, except for the overhead, by late May.
Meanwhile, on the portion of Queens Quay east of Rees, work will begin on the streetcar right-of-way and the new north side roadway in March (depending on weather) with the westbound auto traffic shifted to the south side of the street. The tangent track is expected to be completed by late June.
This opens up the possibility that if the TTC could get the overhead done quickly enough, the 509 Harbourfront car could return for August, but that is far from certain.
Meanwhile on Spadina, although the loop trackage be finished by mid May, service will not be extended south from King to Queens Quay until the overhead is in place. The work schedule may be too tight for a having the loop available for July, and in any event streetcars will not operate on Spadina during August while the intersection at Dundas is replaced and modifications are underway at Spadina Loop.
I checked with the TTC to find out their position on the situation because it was the February 2014 CEO’s report that alerted me to the change. Brad Ross replied:
To be clear, and I/we have been consistently clear on this with you and anyone who asks, the schedule is entirely Waterfront Toronto’s. We publish dates based on their schedule. No one wants to resume streetcar service on QQ more than us. To add further clarity, as you requested, criticism of the TTC on the delays on QQ would be wholly unjustified and unfounded. As I have said before, you need to speak with WT for an answer as to why the delays and shifting schedule.
Union Station, the portal and loop down there are not affected and are not delaying work. We need to install the overhead along QQ and at the loop at QQ and Spadina, but require the track to be in first. WT have committed to a schedule to ensure this work is finished on time for the new streetcar to at least operate on Spadina to QQ. WT are well aware of this need and we have been quite clear with them on it.
Meanwhile, the Spadina and Dundas intersection is being redone this summer … and work … is happening on the platform at Spadina station simultaneously to better accommodate the new cars.
I will continue to monitor the TTC and Waterfront Toronto for updates to the project plans.