Roncesvalles reconstruction to take 12 months, beginning August 2009

Councillor Gord Perks has informed the BIA that the 2009-10 reconstruction of Roncesvalles is tentatively scheduled to take place between August 2009 and August 2010.  The reconstruction time has expanded due to a provincial requirement that the lead water mains beneath Roncesvalles be replaced. This requirement adds an additional big project to the existing two (the sidewalks and the street/streetcar tracks). Any one of these projects by itself would take a full building season, so coordinating them reduces total building time by a huge amount. But even so, the total construction time now sits at 12 months.

Councillor Perks says the construction will likely occur as follows: from August 2009 until December 2009, the west side water mains will be replaced. These mains are under the sidewalk, which will have to be cut. The sidewalk would then be covered with a temporary asphalt cover. From January to March 2010, the east side water mains will be replaced. Here, the water mains are located under the street, not the sidewalk, and only the mains from Pearson to Dundas would be affected. From March  to June 2010, the east sidewalks and street will be reconstructed. Finally, from June to August 2010 the west side will be completed, in time for the 2010 Polish Festival.

The BIA has been told that the water main replacements will be much less disruptive than the street and sidewalk reconstructions. During the entire project, at least one driving lane will remain open, and access to businesses will be maintained at all times.

This is only a preliminary overview of the reconstruction timetable. The BIA will report all additional details as we learn more.

Years ago, when the BIA learned of the City and TTC’s plans to reconstruct the sidewalk and streetcar tracks, it adopted two strategies: 1) to seek streetscape improvements over the basic state-of-good-repair, and 2) to create a disruption plan to help businesses cope with the reconstruction. These strategies seek to maximize the benefits and reduce the costs of what would inevitably be a disruptive process.

The BIA has obtained two reports, compiling the lessons learned from similar reconstruction projects in the United States. The BIA will be studying these reports carefully as we develop our disruption plan for Roncesvalles businesses. In the meantime, the BIA asks that businesses, especially those with special needs, to please contact us at info@roncesvallesvillage.ca, so that their information, suggestions and concerns can be added to the disruption plan.

The reconstruction is still more than a year away, but by developing a plan early, the BIA hopes to mitigate the inevitable disruption for businesses as much as possible. Business input is crucial to the plan’s effectiveness.