The first of 2006’s round of streetcar track reconstruction will start March 27 as Gerrard Street East from Coxwell to Main gets its makeover. The TTC will start by storing and welding rails on the centre two lanes of Gerrard between Main and Malvern. Transit services will not be detoured around the track storage, but passengers on the 135 Gerrard bus can expect delays. Track storage and welding will end April 3.
Then, on April 3, excavations will commence at two locations (Coxwell Avenue and Woodbine) and proceed east. During this period, traffic on this part of Gerrard will be reduced to a single westbound lane only.
Of course, streetcar service will be disrupted during this period. This link, calling for interested residents to come to a public information session on March 21, suggests that 506 Carlton cars will divert to Bingham Loop at the corner of Kingston Road and Victoria Park.
At first this might seem to be counter-intuitive. While 506 Carlton cars do commonly short-turn south on Coxwell to the Queen/Coxwell loop, taking them east on Queen and northeast on Kingston Road isn’t their normal diversion. However, with transit service — even shuttle bus service — impossible on Gerrard Street during the excavation, residents are going to have to walk to their nearest alternate service. That means the subway, the north-south buses at Coxwell, Woodbine and Main to the subway, or possibly the streetcar tracks at Kingston Road. For passengers used to travelling on 506 Carlton, a short walk to Kingston Road isn’t too far out of their way to access their usual streetcars, although I’m sure that everybody is hoping that construction proceeds quickly.
For the second year in a row, residents along Kingston Road can expect heavy streetcar service during the evenings and weekends, when Coxwell buses would usually provide service.
The TTC has not unveiled all of the details about the alternative transit services it will provide during construction. One might speculate that we will see additional service on the Main, Woodbine and Coxwell routes, and possibly a special shuttle bus running between Main Station and Bingham Loop.