My apologies to readers for not posting this information sooner. There has been an inconsistency between schedule information for a major project on the west end of the Queen line between the TTC’s five-year plan taken from their capital budget, and the City of Toronto’s Transportation Services plans. The TTC still has not provided updated information to resolve this although it was requested some weeks ago.
The five-year plan for streetcar track renewal was part of the 2016-2020 Capital Budget. Whether all of this work will actually occur as planned remains in doubt because the relevant budget lines are subject to limitations on capital spending imposed by Council.
(Source: Adapted TTC 2016-2020 Capital Program, Streetcar Track Plan pp 5-7)
The notes in the plan above show the changes in 2016 from the version in the 2015 budget.
With this plan, the TTC has reached a “steady state” replacement plan for track thanks to construction of more robust infrastructure including new track foundations, the use of steel ties, and a return to continuously welded rail strings with thermite welds where needed. Special work is now laid in panels and, like the tangent rail, is better welded so that intersections do not fall apart only a few years after they are installed.
Planned dates for some of the 2016 work have already been announced:
- Work at CNE Loop, integrated with a GO Transit project, is already underway
- Roncesvalles Carhouse work will begin in late March
- Charlotte Street Loop will be rebuilt from March 29 to April 22
- College & Bathurst will be rebuilt from June 20 to July 22
- College & Lansdowne will be rebuilt from July 18 to August 15
Although work on The Queensway and Lake Shore Boulevard is shown above over 2016, 2017 and 2020, this schedule has already been revised according to a City presentation about the co-ordination of work around the King-Queen-Roncesvalles intersection. The reconstruction of that intersection and of the carhouse access trackage would be advanced from 2020 to 2017 so that all of the work in this area could be done in one large project. If work on Lake Shore from Humber Loop to Dwight (the long curving east half of the “Long Branch” section of 501 Queen) remains in the 2017 schedule, this would achieve a large-scale reconstruction over the course of one long season accompanied by a shutdown of streetcar service west of Roncesvalles.
The projected dates for this work (quoted from the City presentation) are:
- Phase 1 – Roncesvalles from Harvard to Queen including north TTC yard entrance: 1 week for overhead removals with lane closure and 4 weeks of full intersection closure; April 3 – May 8, 2017
- Phase 2 – The intersection of KQRQ including South TTC yard entrance and the Loop: 10 weeks of construction including 6 weeks of full intersection closure with the exception of maintaining an Eastbound lane for 4 weeks within this 6 weeks along Queensway and King and 4 weeks of lane closures; May 8 – July 17, 2017
- Phase 3 – Queensway from Sunnyside to Parkside: One lane of traffic in each direction shall be maintained at all times during this phase. July 17 – Oct 27, 2017
This would disrupt streetcar service on the following dates:
- 501 Queensway – April 1 to Nov 18
- 501 Queen – May 7 to July 17
- 504/508 King – May 7 to July 17
- 504 Roncesvalles – April 1 to July 17
Details of the three phases appear below.
During this phase, there would be no streetcar service on Roncesvalles Avenue, nor would the north gate entrance to the carhouse be available.
The reference to sidewalk loading areas on Queen relates to a proposed change in the intersection design that would see the triangular island now on the southwest corner replaced by an extension of the sidewalk over the channel for road traffic from The Queensway to King. The eastbound carstop would move farside in a layout similar to the sidewalk “bump outs” for stops on Roncesvalles, and the space now occupied by the eastbound safety island would become a left turn lane. The Envronmental Assessment for this reconfiguration has not yet started.
As part of this project, the streetcar right-of-way on The Queensway would be extended east from Parkside Drive to Roncesvalles.
During this phase, access to Roncesvalles Carhouse would be limited to the north gate.
During this phase, Roncesvalles Carhouse would be fully accessible, but no streetcars could operate west of Sunnyside Loop.
When I get more information about this plan, I will update this article. The full deck containing the images above is linked below.