April 15, 2024

What you need to know about London’s 2024 road building plans

As the 2024 construction season ramps up, the city is preparing to either wrap up or begin several major projects throughout London, approximately $270 million worth of work.

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As the 2024 construction season ramps up, the city is preparing to either wrap up or begin several major projects throughout London, approximately $270 million worth of work. Reporter Jack Moulton takes a look at some of the headliners that could either cause or relieve traffic woes.

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What’s going on this year?

During a recent meeting of city council’s civic works committee, staff presented a report outlining London’s Top 10 construction projects for the year. Some projects are carry-overs from previous years, while others are getting underway, including multiple ones for London’s $455-million bus rapid transit network. The projects include:

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  • Adelaide Street north underpass 
  • Wellington gateway Phase 1 and downtown loop Phase 3 
  • Clark’s Bridge widening, part of the Wellington gateway
  • East London link Phase 3 
  • Victoria Bridge replacement 
  • York Street and Wellington Street infrastructure renewal 
  • Fanshawe Park Road and Richmond Street intersection improvements 
  • Sunningdale Road and Richmond Street intersection improvements 
  • Colonel Talbot Road upgrades 
  • Wellington gateway phases 3 and 4

When are ongoing projects wrapping up?

Jennie Dann, the city’s director of construction and infrastructure services, says some of the biggest projects that have been bottlenecks for the past year or two are nearing completion.

Dann is optimistic that as soon as late spring, traffic could start flowing under the new rail underpass on Adelaide Street, beginning with one lane in each direction. The work will shift to tearing up the temporary bypass road through McMahen Park, and finishing some streetscape improvements.

The replacement of the Victoria Bridge also is expected to be finished by the summer, after supply delays and in-water work.

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Work on the last phase of the BRT’s downtown loop and first segment of the Wellington gateway from Horton Street to the Thames River also is largely done, and just needs a top coat of asphalt and sidewalk work early this summer.

In the city’s north end, work will continue on the intersection of Richmond Street and Fanshawe Park Road. Richmond was the focus of much of the work in 2023. This year crews are shifting to Fanshawe Park Road and the intersection itself.

What you need to know about London’s 2024 road construction plans

Dundas Street East near Burbrook Place is cut down to two lanes, one in each direction, as the city’s bus rapid transit system continues to be built out. Photograph taken on Monday, March 18, 2024. (Mike Hensen/The London Free Press)

What about the new projects?

Work continues on the two branches of the BRT network, widening roads and replacing underlying water and wastewater pipes.

The project that will likely be the biggest bottleneck will be work to widen Clark’s Bridge on Wellington Street to accommodate the south leg of the BRT. Dann says it likely will take a year and a half, but one lane of traffic in each direction will be maintained. The widening will extend south of the bridge to Watson Street.

Farther south on Wellington Road, bus rapid transit work will begin between Wilkins Street and Greenfield Drive.

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In the east, BRT work continues in the area of Oxford Street and Highbury Avenue. Work is beginning on Dundas Street between Egerton Street and McCormick Boulevard.

As the staggered work on the BRT picks up, Dann estimates the east link will be ready for use in mid 2027, and the Wellington gateway in 2028.

The intersection of Sunningdale Road and Richmond Street will be widened and improved beginning this spring, and Colonel Talbot Road between Southdale Road and James Street will be upgraded with sidewalks, concrete curbs and gutters

How will projects impact your commute?

Dann’s advice for Londoners navigating the construction is to plan ahead, as the city strives to keep alternate routes around construction areas open and flowing. For drivers, she emphasizes zipper merging for lane reductions. Transit riders should check the LTC site for delays and detours, and pedestrians and cyclists should keep an eye out for signs.

Overall, she said though there is short-term pain, there is long-term gain for everyone.

“We are a rapidly growing city,” Dann says. “A lot of people ask me ‘Why so much construction?’ but this is what we’re doing to make sure that our infrastructure stays sustainable and can keep pace with our growing city.”

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