Update — Friday, August 8, 6:06 a.m.: The City will close the westbound lanes once more — overnight from 11 p.m. Friday, August 8 until 5:30 p.m. Saturday, August 9.
There’s good news and bad news for those of you that regularly ride GO Transit buses to and from Union Station GO Bus Terminal.
Here’s the good news.
City of Toronto contractors have finished one of three major reconstruction projects on the Frederick G. Gardiner Expressway today — nearly a month ahead of schedule. That project, replacing the median between Ellis Avenue and Dufferin Street, has been delaying GO buses operating along the 16 Hamilton / Toronto express, 18 Lakeshore West (early-morning / late-night), 21 Milton / Toronto, 31 Guelph / Georgetown / Toronto and 63 King City / Toronto routes since April.
Here’s the bad news.
The City will the expressway overnight nightly, starting tonight to shift traffic lanes and construction staging for the remaining phases of the construction project.
The City will close:
- westbound lanes between Carlaw Avenue and the Humber River from 11 p.m. tonight, Monday, August 4 until 5:30 a.m. tomorrow, Tuesday, August 5 and from 11 p.m. tomorrow until 5:30 a.m. Wednesday, August 6.
- eastbound lanes between the Humber River and Carlaw Avenue from 9 p.m. Wednesday, August 6 until 5:30 a.m. Thursday, August 7 and from 9 p.m. Thursday, August 7 until 5:30 a.m. Friday, August 8.
Closing the Gardiner affects buses operating along these GO routes: 16 Hamilton / Toronto express, 18 Lakeshore West early-morning / late-night, 21 Milton / Toronto, 31 Guelph / Georgetown / Toronto, 63 King City / Toronto, 65 Newmarket / Toronto, 71 Stouffville / Toronto and 90 Lakeshore East early-morning / late-night.
GO is likely detouring the buses along The Queensway, and Lake Shore Boulevard, instead of the Gardiner, but the buses serve all regular stops. However, GO Transit Control monitors road conditions and may direct bus drivers to detour along other streets, depending on traffic flow.
Motorists that would usually drive along the Gardiner will seek alternate routes on nearby parallel streets, increasing traffic volumes along Lake Shore Boulevard, The Queensway, King and Queen Streets, among others.
The extra traffic may delay TTC service along these routes: 6 Bay, 15 Evans, 29 Dufferin, 47 Lansdowne, 63 Ossington, 65 Parliament, 66 Prince Edward, 75 Sherbourne, 76 Royal York South, 80 Queensway, 110 Islington South, 123 Shorncliffe, 172 Cherry St, 501 Queen, 504 King, 505 Dundas, 509 Harbourfront, 510 Spadina and 511 Bathurst.
Work continues for two other projects:
- replacing the deck on the elevated part of the expressway between Exhibition Place and Strachan Avenue. The City expects to complete this work by the end of 2016, but it will restore all traffic lanes from June until August 2015 for the Pam Am/Parapan Am Games.
- rehabilitating the structures of three bridges on the ground-level section of the Gardiner between Park Lawn Road and the Humber River. The City will close one eastbound lane, while maintaining all westbound lanes. The City expects to complete this work by next spring.
While the expressway is closed overnight, crews will reconfigure lanes for both east- and westbound traffic:
- Just two eastbound traffic lanes remain in place at the Humber River and at Exhibition Place due to the ongoing work in those two areas. A third lane of eastbound traffic will be available between the Humber River and Jameson Avenue.
- Three westbound traffic lanes are available west of Jameson Avenue. The ramp from Jameson Avenue to the westbound expressway will remain open during rush hours to provide more access for motorists.
While these changes mostly affect passengers riding GO buses operating to and from areas west of Toronto, passengers from the north and east aren’t entirely off the hook for construction delays. The City is repairing the expressway structure between Jarvis Street and Don Roadway and doesn’t expect to finish until the end of 2014, delaying service for most GO buses operating along the 61 Richmond Hill / Toronto, 65 Newmarket / Toronto and 71 Stouffville / Toronto routes and some operating along the 63 King City / Toronto route.