Boyd Dunleavey took a minute out of his Thursday morning errands to watch CP Rail crews tear up pavement along the tracks on Adelaide Street.

"I dropped my kids off at summer camp this morning and was coming back and did not realize they were starting the work today, so, very exciting."

But a bit of bad news for Dunleavey, the pavement work was only that; a pavement repair. It wasn't part of the underpass project that will transform Adelaide near Central Avenue.

Still Dunleavey sees it as a sign of hope, knowing the project is coming.

He says the shunting of trains across Adelaide has been a constant annoyance since he and his wife moved to the city 18 years ago.

"One of the things that surprised me was a train in the middle of the city."

The Dunleavey family lives just north of Oxford Street and uses Adelaide frequently.

“If you’re going for a check-up, if you’ve got to go to the hospital for something, if you’ve got to go to the dentist, if you’ve got to go north-south in the city; this is a key point.”

The $58-million project that will take Adelaide under the rail line is on track to get underway in 2021.

Garfield Dales is Division Manager in the City of London’s Transportation and Planning Design Department.

He says, “The design work is underway right now. As you can appreciate, it’s a large, complicated project. There’s a lot of advanced work that needs to be done.”

For the most part travellers adapted to the closure on this day, but the city and CP have other contingencies to keep traffic moving when the big project gets underway,

“So we’re looking at building a temporary diversion. It would be just to the east of the existing roadway on Adelaide Street and would allow traffic to continue during construction," Dales says.

The only regret for Dunleavey, the underpass might mean the loss of a convenient alibi, "Getting caught behind the train, I mean, it's almost the ultimate excuse as to why you’re late for something. Your dog ate your homework, you got caught behind the train on Adelaide Street."

The underpass, once in place, will have room for four lanes of traffic, pedestrians, cyclists and mobility devices.