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Construction shuts down another key downtown link


It is day one of a three-week construction project in downtown London, and there are signs of driver confusion already.

At mid-day, a taxi is seen attempting to drive through a clearly marked construction site at the intersection of Dundas and Wellington streets. The confused cabbie is turned around by a construction worker onsite, who removes traffic cones to let the driver escape.

Welcome to Phase Three of the Downtown Loop for Bus Rapid Transit.

“It's been a disaster, said delivery driver Sean who stopped to pick up at package at the City Centre Towers at Dundas and Wellington. “The city, like you know, already, all the roads have been closed, and then there's no parking,” he lamented.

Dundas Street between Wellington and Waterloo has been closed until approximately July 5 for ongoing work on the downtown loop.

The work includes asphalt replacement, utility repairs, water main and sewer upgrades, and much more.

At Dundas Street restaurant Crabby Joes the outdoor patio is empty at lunchtime, as construction dust floats through the air and noise from heavy machinery permeates the downtown atmosphere. Sheila Lightfoot, one of the managers onsite, worries about diners being disinclined to eat at the establishment.

“It is hard to get people to come to this area when all of this is going on. We have people saying that they've climbed over rocks and sand, climbed through sand, climbed through mud just to get here,” she said.A taxi attempts to drive through a closed construction site at Dundas and Wellington in London, Ont., on Monday, June 17, 2024. (Bryan Bicknell/CTV News London)

Just a couple of doors to the east at Cloud Nine Cannabis, manager Angel Kennedy says most of her customers come by foot, so she’s not too concerned about how construction will affect business.

“We have the hotel and big high rises right here. So a lot of our business is walkers, but hopefully it doesn't interrupt our business. Too bad. But thankfully, a lot of people do walk here. So. Yeah. Fingers crossed,” said Kennedy.

There is ample signage and traffic cones to direct pedestrians away from the traffic, and the city says sidewalk access will be maintained on at least one side of the street during construction.

Pedestrian Michael Nolan, a retiree, says it can still be a challenge.

“They do a good job, but I must say, it's very, very difficult. And it really does detract, I think, from the whole downtown town,” said Nolan.

The city says bike lanes between Waterloo and Wellington will be temporarily closed, requiring cyclists to dismount and walk their two-wheelers. Top Stories

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