The busy King/Spadina intersection in downtown Toronto is being closed for two weeks for major construction, adding to the woes of drivers facing other delays.
"Basically, the entire intersection is being dug up and replaced," said Jacqueline White, the acting director of Transportation Services for the area.
The site will be completely redone, much as the intersection of Queen and Spadina was last summer, after being shut down Tuesday morning. Crews will remove aging streetcar tracks and replace them with new. They will also do reconstruction work on the roads and sidewalks.
During this time the King streetcar will divert up to Queen for the stretch between Shaw and Church. The Spadina streetcar is being replaced with a bus that will bypass the closed intersection.
The two streets collectively handle about 53,000 vehicles a day in both directions, peaking during morning and evening rush hours at about 3,000 (2,000 on Spadina, 1,000 on King). During the shut-down, crosstown drivers are being urged to divert onto Adelaide, Queen or Front. The city recommends that traffic going north or south can use University or Bathurst instead.
The closing of the intersection comes amid mounting driver frustration.
The intersection of Richmond and York, a few blocks to the east, was closed late last month and is not due to re-open until Aug. 17. Also last month, two lanes of the eastbound Gardiner Expressway were closed from Jarvis to the Don Roadway and are scheduled to remain so until December. And one lane of the westbound Lake Shore Blvd will be closed during the day this month from Jarvis to York.
Ms. White said that summer is a good time to do construction because traffic volumes are lower. She added that they try to stagger projects so that the effect is diluted, trying also not to conflict with major events hosted in the city.
"The main message is leave sufficient time to get around," she said.