London

A gift for all Londoners: Downtown construction will stop by Christmas

It falls a little short of the threshold for a Christmas miracle, but there is good news for those who want to travel through down London: construction on three major routes will wind down by Christmas Eve.

3 major downtown road projects have caused headaches for drivers, cyclists and pedestrians

Construction to transform Dundas Street into Dundas Place is set to wrap up for the winter season sometime before Dec. 23. (Colin Butler/CBC News)

It falls a little short of the threshold for a Christmas miracle, but there is good news for those who want to travel through downtown London: construction on three major routes will wind down by Christmas Eve.

"I can't say the work will be done but it will be suspended for the winter," said Jim Yanchula's, the city's manager of downtown projects. 

"We could get lots of snow that would stop the work, we just can't predict that, but right now it looks like we'll be working right up to the end of the construction season." 

Three major road projects have essentially made parts of downtown a no-go zone for motorists and cyclists for much of the summer. 

A sewer and catch basin project that shut down Talbot Street between Kent Street and Fullerton Street has been mostly finished and that street has been open to vehicles since October. 

"They still have some curbside work to do but they're waiting to see when that can be done," Yanchula said. 

Work on York Street to replace water mains, reconstruct curbs and sidewalks and upgrade sanitary and storm sewers will keep going until Dec. 23 if all goes according to plan, and will resume in the spring. 

"We've had some challenges with the wet and cold weather but it's amazing what a contractor can do to bounce back from weather," Yanchula said. 

Jim Yanchula, the city's manager of downtown projects, said crews will continue to work until the arrival of winter forces them to wrap up for the year. (Paula Duhatschek/CBC)

Construction resumes April 1

The construction of Dundas Place is also on track, he said, with York and Dundas street work going on for as long into December as possible as well. 

"The finishing touches will make Dundas Street a plaza and a street, the stuff that people see and the stuff that looks cool," Yanchula said.

He said most Londoners have found alternate ways to get around. 

"I think everyone is ready to reclaim the routes they've been used to but it's surprising how resilient people are," he said. 

Londoners can enjoy the re-opened streets until April 1, when construction resumes. 

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