Here is the latest update on Roncesvalles construction. Please remember that this information is subject to change.
==Howard Park Intersection Closure==
As has been reported a number of times, the intersection of Howard Park and Roncesvalles was closed late last night (September 19) and will remain closed until the morning of October 6. During this time Sanscon and TTC will be replacing the complicated track work there and replacing the overhead wires.
Howard Park Avenue will be largely closed from Dundas to Sunnyside. This closure will provide a staging area and work area for the work. Access to the Howard School parking lot will be largely maintained, both for use of school staff and (evenings and weekends) the public.
Roncesvalles Avenue will be closed to all but local traffic from Grenadier to Howard Park Avenue. Northbound access to Roncesvalles from Ritchie Avenue will be maintained.
Northbound 504 buses will divert along High Park Boulevard, up Parkside, and along Bloor to Dundas West Station. Southbound 504 buses will be unaffected.
The 506 Carlton car will divert up to Dundas West Station.
Pedestrian access through the intersection will be maintained, although there will be likely diversions around the work zone.
The important pedestrian crossing at Marmaduke will be maintained as much as possible. The City, contractor and Howard Public School staff have met and have made arrangements with respect to crosswalks and student safety.
TTC is storing prebuilt track panels on Roncesvalles between Constance and Marmaduke beginning Sept. 19, and panels will also be stored on Howard Park Avenue, both east and west of Roncesvalles.
Northbound access to Roncesvalles from Ritchie will be maintained. All other affected sidestreets (Boustead, Hewitt, Marmaduke, Neepawa, Constance) will have no access to Roncesvalles and will be two-way.
The Howard Park intersection is expected to be open on Wednesday October 6.
==Scope and Progress of Work==
The main focus of this work will be the replacement of track at the intersection. Track will also be replaced along Howard Park Avenue for a distance of approximately 60 meters east and west of Roncesvalles. This will replace somewhat worn track on Howard Park caused by braking streetcars.
(The whole run of track on Howard Park Avenue was last replaced in 1995, but in areas where there is frequent braking the track wears down more quickly.)
Track north of Howard Park Avenue on Roncesvalles is nearly complete and will be finished along with the intersection.
==Completion of Track Work==
As reported earlier, the final piece of track work will proceed south from Howard Park Avenue to meet the completed track just south of Constance Avenue.
Track work began on July 13 and is expected to be complete in late October, which meets the original projection for the duration of track work of roughly 3 to 3 ½ months.
Again, once track work is complete, two-way traffic and transit will resume on Roncesvalles Avenue.
Sidewalk work between Marion and Pearson on the west side of the street was completed this week. West side sidewalk from Queen to about 50 meters south of Marion is also complete.
The contractor acknowledges that they are behind their initial schedule with respect to sidewalk work. The BIA has expressed its concerns about this, as well as the concerns of businesses and residents in the neighbourhood about this delay.
At our latest meeting, Sanscon reported that once track work was substantially done they would put all their efforts into sidewalk and road repair. They have stated that they expect to be able to catch up and complete the work by their initial deadline.
Again, should Sanscon not complete sidewalk work by December 3, they will clean up and leave Roncesvalles for the winter, providing us with a good holiday shopping season. This was written into the contract at the request of the RVBIA to protect this important shopping season for the retailers of Roncesvalles Village.
Sanscon continues to flush the street regularly. While acknowledging this, the BIA has expressed dissatisfaction with the results. Sanscon has since put in an asphalt patch which now runs up the east side of Roncesvalles between the new track and old road. This substantially cuts down on dust and gravel, and a recent sweeping has helped in parts of the street. We note that there are still sections of the curb lane that are very gravelly in the south end and we will continue to request more sweeping until this situation is satisfactory.
Sanscon has also indicated that they will continue to flush the street regularly and also put an asphalt patch along the west side of the street, which should help more.
A few questions have emerged about certain features of the work.
1) Why is the new track at a different grade in places compared to the old track?
In order to accommodate the new transit platforms, and also to get the height of new curbs right (that is, about 6 inches), the road will have to be regraded in certain areas of the street. The new grade of the road will meet the new grade of the track.
2) Why does the track move in and out, and not just in a straight line?
The track moves slightly towards the curb to meet the transit platforms to allow for level boarding of streetcars. This maintains a proper width of road for
3) What are those green things sticking out of the ground?
These are the new BIA-operated watering hydrants (see photo), which will help us to maintain the new trees and flower beds that are coming to Roncesvalles Avenue. There will be one watering hydrant at each new transit platform, for a total of twelve up and down the street.
Coordinator, Roncesvalles Village BIA