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Metrolinx (previously the Greater Toronto Transportation Authority) gave a presentation at our recent Liberty Village Residents’ Association. The purpose of the presentation was to update the residents on the work being done, time lines etc. The following are notes based on what was discussed.
The Metrolinx community office is located near the Shopper’s Drug Mart on King Street West by Stafford St and King St W. The Georgetown South Line is part of the Big Move by Metrolinx. The Georgetown South Line track improvements extend from Bathurst Street in downtown Toronto to Highway 427 in Peel Region. Currently they are doing grade improvements. For the Liberty Village area this includes lowering the rail corridor below grade and raising Strachan Avenue a bit. They are putting in struts to support the top of the retaining wall using a “tear-drop” design. Metrolinx reps indicated that four different strut options were considered and the community voted on the tear-drop design as their favourite. The struts are necessary to keep the retaining walls from caving in. The retaining walls are required for the excavation.
Currently, a utility tunnel has been created to house all of the utilities under the rail corridor. The middle and centre retaining walls are being prepared now. Then they can start excavating. They are excavating in phases so they can keep running trains all through the process. All this work is expected to be completed by 2014 to be ready for the Pan Am Games for 2015.
They are also digging the siphon tunnel that will run under the rail corridor. There is a large tunneling machine that is currently tunneling between Fleet street and Douro street, and this tunneling work will be completed by end of summer 2012.
Traffic and Construction Restrictions
Strachan Avenue lane restrictions will begin in late spring/early summer 2012 to connect the new sewer to the existing feed.
There may be a closure of Douro Street to connect new sewer (siphon tunnel) –for up to two months. The north shaft at Douro and Strachan will have to be connected to the south shaft.
Construction for the Strachan Ave Realignment
– work to realign Strachan ave is anticipated to start in early May.
-Approximately 12 parking spots on Western Battery Rd will not be available during this phase.
-The east sidewalk on Western Battery Rd will be closed to pedestrians.
– The pedestrian path between Western Battery Rd and Strachan Ave will not be available.
– There may be a closure of Western Battery for 2 weeks.
Strachan Avenue Realignment (this will be a temporary alignment for two years)
Excavation to lower the corridor
Operational Noise and Vibration
Metrolinx organizes Monthly walking tours on the third Tuesday of every month, April to October.
[email protected] to sign up for the monthly email updates about the Metrolinx transit construction. All are invited to the public meeting to be held on May 29th regarding the Metrolinx project.
To follow this project on twitter go to: Twitter.com/GTS_Project
The question was asked how many train trips per day will run on the revamped rail corridor once all the work is done and the new project is in place. The answer is that approximately they are forecasting approximately 140 Trips of the ARL per day. Plus nine additional Go Trains than there are today.
Today there are 45 train trips per day. When everything is done there will be nine more go trains and 140 Air Rail trains per day. They will be “Tier 4” diesel.
The environmental question that has caused some concern from many neighbourhoods along the ARL, not just in Liberty Village, but all the way along western Toronto, is whether the ARL will eventually be electrified. Metrolinx representatives indicated that there has been approval in principle for the ARL system will be electrified by 2017 to 2018. There is an Environmental Assessment process in place for electrification that has already received funding. Once the EA is done it will be determined if electrification will actually be permitted to proceed or not. It will not be determined whether electrification is going ahead until after the environmental assessment. However, there is currently no funding in place for the electrification. The way the current construction on the rail track is being carried out does not preclude electrification at a later point in time.
Stay tuned for further updates…