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Drivers to expect delays as major infrastructure project begins on University Avenue – Toronto

Drivers to expect delays as major infrastructure project begins on University Avenue - Toronto
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A portion of University Avenue was reduced to one lane on Monday as part of a major infrastructure upgrade project, causing frustration for downtown drivers.

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Traffic is impacted southbound on University Avenue, between College Street and Queen Street West, with drivers required to merge into one lane.

Global News spoke with drivers and pedestrians in the area on Monday who all voiced similar concerns. While some said they hope the work can be completed soon, others commented that the work being done looks unorganized and that there is already a lot of roadwork taking place throughout the city.

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The city says construction may need to pause during the coldest parts of winter, from late December until early February. During this period, traffic restrictions will be lifted, and all southbound lanes will reopen.

The work being completed will bundle various infrastructure upgrades into one project to minimize disruption, including the replacement of a nearly 150-year-old watermain, adding new safety measures into existing southbound cycle tracks, the addition of a landscaped median between select southbound cycle tracks and vehicle lanes, and road resurfacing.

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Given that the work is being completed near Hospital Row, there were worries that construction would impact the flow of emergency vehicles, however, the city says access for emergency vehicles will be maintained.

While it’s expected that the work on the southbound lanes will be completed by next summer, this is just a portion of the infrastructure upgrades causing traffic issues across the city.

The city said the upgrades being completed along University Avenue and its subsequent traffic impacts have been coordinated with Metrolinx’s Ontario Line work taking place at Queen Street West and University Avenue.

“From Nov. 27 until early December, the Ontario Line project will occupy two northbound lanes on University Avenue from Queen Street West to Armoury Street,” the city said in a statement. “After early Dec., the lane occupancy will be reduced to use only one northbound lane on the same stretch of University Avenue until the project’s expected completion in 2026.”


Click to play video: 'Infrastructure upgrade creates frustration for downtown drivers'


Infrastructure upgrade creates frustration for downtown drivers


While drivers may face delays during the University Avenue upgrades, impacts to pedestrians will be minimal, the city says.

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Clear signage will be in place directing southbound cyclists offering them alternative routes.

During construction, drivers are advised to plan their travel in advance and to choose an alternate route when possible.

&copy 2023 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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