Adelaide St grade separation

What is being proposed?

In order to reduce traffic issues caused by trains crossing Adelaide Street, the City of London is considering separating rail and road traffic at the crossing by moving the roadway off of the same level as the railway (a grade separation). Examples of existing grade separations include the subways (underpasses) on Wellington St north of Horton and Talbot St south of Oxford and the overpasses on Quebec St and Adelaide St south of King St. Both options will be considered as part of the environmental assessment.

The separation of road and rail traffic is intended to improve traffic capacity on Adelaide street, reduce public transit delays, and improve safety for pedestrians. The Adelaide / CPR crossing has been deemed the highest priority grade separation in the City of London. An average of 25,500 vehicles cross the CPR rail line on Adelaide every day, and as many as 43 trains cross at Adelaide each day, creating road blockages for up to 126 minutes per day.

The capital budget for the environmental assessment is $400,000. The estimated timeline for construction of a grade separation is 2031 (15 years from now) and the estimated cost of a grade separation is ~$50,000,000-$60,000,000 (original estimate was $21,000,000; budget updated in 2017).

 

What has happened so far?

Next Steps

MMM Group has been contracted by the City of London to complete an Environmental Assessment for the Adelaide Street / CPR Grade Separation. The study will:

  • Confirm the needs of the Adelaide Street corridor, recognizing the full range of users within the community including pedestrians, cyclists, rail, transit vehicles and motorists.
  • Identify and assess a range of planning and design alternatives for the grade separation including subway (rail over road) and overpass (road over rail).
  • Consider the opportunity to identify, preserve and celebrate the natural and cultural heritage resources, and promote pedestrian environment along the corridor.
  • Engage public participation throughout the study process.
  • Develop a functional and visually attractive design concept for vehicular travel lanes, cycling lanes, and sidewalks that reflects the community and transportation contexts

Two Public Information Centres (PICs) will be held to present the project, review the study findings and discuss study issues including alternative solutions, evaluation criteria, and environmental impacts and mitigation measures. Dates are not yet set for the PICs.

Public input is welcome throughout the study.

Key Documents

Key Contacts

I'm interested to know how you would like to see at this rail crossing. Please provide your feedback in the box below, email me at jhelmer@london.ca or call me at 226-268-7536 (mobile).

Ardian Spahiu, P.Eng Transportation Design Engineer Transportation Planning and Design, City of London. aspahiu@london.ca or 519-661-2500, ext. 4738.

Jay Goldberg, E.I.T. Project Coordinator, MMM Group (Environmental Assessment Consultant) goldbergj@mmm.ca, 905-823-8500 ext. 1284, 2655 North Sheridan Way Mississauga, ON L5K 2P8

Members of the Civic Works Committee including myself (Chair) and my colleagues Maureen Cassidy, Anna Hopkins, Josh Morgan, and Michael van Holst.

Jen Pastorius is the manager of the Old East Village BIA. Her email is jen@oldeastvillage.com.

Peter Strack is the president of the Old East Village Community Association. His email is oevcapresident@gmail.com.

Kate Rapson is the president of the Woodfield Community Association. Her email is katerapson@gmail.com.

 

 

What do you think of the proposed grade separation?


Showing 27 reactions

  • commented 2017-07-26 09:05:38 -0400
    Can you clarify the statement – “…and as many as 43 trains cross at Adelaide each day…”. Are you including CNR trains that go under Adelaide south of King, because a) if you aren’t there is no way the CPR tracks north of Central handle that much traffic on a daily basis, and b) if you are, then this statement can be considered disingenuous because the CNR tracks do not in any way alter traffic on Adelaide.
  • commented 2017-05-05 12:21:42 -0400
    The grade separation is a must as long as the CPR tracks are not relocated by 2030. Unfortunatelt this EA will have to be done again at more cost to the taxpayer because it is only valid for five years. If it is not to be constructed until 2030 now, then why are we doing the EA now??
  • commented 2017-01-13 22:17:44 -0500
    15 years is too long of a time line.

    Environmental assessments seem like an expansive waist of time. The need is obvious and all that needs to be determined is whether to put the road over or under the railway.
  • posted about this on Facebook 2016-07-23 12:50:41 -0400
    What do you think about an Adelaide St grade separation? @jesse_helmer wants to know! #oevldn #ldnont
  • commented 2016-07-23 12:50:16 -0400
    Have the federal, provincial government’s been approached make contribution now that available infrastructure dollars can be accessed 15 year timeline for this project is absolutely ridiculous.
  • commented 2016-06-16 17:22:19 -0400
    why do we have two shunting yards in the middle of the city? One hundred and fifty years ago it was the life’s-blood of the community to have rail service, but in today’s era CN rail does not offload the goods that they use to do. They tie up traffic in two areas at peak times but there is no benefit to the city from it. If there is a proposal in place, why not save the city some money and create a new yard out side of the core area. Traffic can be restored to normal, no major upkeep at the crossings and the area can be developed after the clean up of the rail yard.
  • commented 2016-05-17 20:10:24 -0400
    The federal government should compel CPR to pay the cost of burying their railroad from east of Adelaide to west of Richmond. The land becomes a public green space. Train derailment possibilities minimized if road is buried. We all sleep safer at night, plus noise reduced. All street crossings would be free of rail traffic. Also creates plenty of short term construction jobs.
  • commented 2016-05-17 20:10:21 -0400
    The federal government should compel CPR to pay the cost of burying their railroad from east of Adelaide to west of Richmond. The land becomes a public green space. Train derailment possibilities minimized if road is buried. We all sleep safer at night, plus noise reduced. All street crossings would be free of rail traffic. Also creates plenty of short term construction jobs.
  • commented 2016-04-08 08:54:10 -0400
    I’m conflicted when I read #1 priority – and 15 year timeline in the same sentence. Opinions now are almost irrelevant with that kind of timeline, you’ll need to ask the community of the future…who knows what might influence the decision making then.

    I agree that an overpass is the least appealing option. If it’s going to get done lets do it right. No more half way there jobs, we need to be fully invested in the future of our communities.
  • commented 2016-03-29 09:27:08 -0400
    For those concerned about the cityscape and other priorities such as wading pools and policing foot patrol – you clearly don’t live in the the study area! The timeline of 2031 is ludicrious as well; this crossing at Adelaide has warranted a grade separation since a study conducted in 2005 and has been the highest grade priority since 2013! London is in the top 5 largest populated cities in Ontario with a railway running through the downtown core as if we are still living on “Little House on the Prairie”! Having lived in many large cities in North America prior to moving to London, I am astounded and dumbfounded by this issue that has only gotten worse in the past 10 years with over 43 crossing per day, worst of all during rush hours! I agree with every point made by Mark Gijzen below, particularly the idea of consolidation to one corridor/relocating to bypass the entire urban core rather than looking at each crossing one at a time (again seems like very poor urban planning otherwise if you want this city to mirror and grow with other competing cities as Hamilton, Kitchener, Ottawa, Toronto). Please stop with the studies and let’s get this thing moving already so we can grow this city and the downtown as it should be.
  • commented 2016-03-24 23:06:37 -0400
    Again, the city is making a choice without considering all the options and costs. Apparently, the city can’t do a lot of things; can’t staff wading pools, can’t properly foot patrol the old east with police on the street, can’t properly control disproportional concentration of social services, can’t quickly re-develop unused or derelict properties, can’t get proper speed controls on the residential streets in old east. But the city can spend money on a foregone conclusion without evaluating all the options. What will it take to put the brakes on this ridiculous plan? Diverting traffic to Quebec, and reducing the number of cars on the road, should be the long term goals. A proper study of alternatives would buy the time for a sober second think about this, and you could probably get it done for a song.


    So – some alternatives….


    1. A diversion plan. So when the train is active, cars upcoming that will hit the delay can be rerouted to richmond, quebec, highbury. This could happen automatically and electronically. The system could be also driven by signal lights along the path. Far cheaper than any road design, and far more effective use of taxpayers dollars.

    2. Posted and available train schedules and times where the railroad agrees to not cross the street.

    3. Might be able to use existing technology for idea 1 (waze, etc) to keep costs of such a system low.


    I do not buy that this is needed- seems like old school thinking. Breathe some fresh air into the brains at city hall please.
  • Jesse Helmer posted about Adelaide Street and Canadian Pacific Railway Grade Separation on Jesse Helmer's Facebook page 2016-03-17 11:06:14 -0400
    What do you think about an Adelaide St grade separation? @jesse_helmer wants to know! #oevldn #ldnont
  • @jesse_helmer tweeted this page. 2016-03-17 11:06:12 -0400
    What do you think about an Adelaide St grade separation? @jesse_helmer wants to know! #oevldn #ldnont http://www.helmer.ca/adelaide_cpr?recruiter_id=5608
  • commented 2016-03-16 13:17:37 -0400
    This study should also consider maintaining the status quo if grade separation would result in a destruction of the streetscape. The area around the rail-line has a vibrant commercial strip that is walkable to many in the surrounding neighbourhoods. McMahon Park is right next to the tracks and would be negatively impacted. The current configuration in this area is what the City of London is trying to create in other areas, that is, walkable communities with successful commercial strips and aesthetically pleasing streetscapes. An overpass would destroy this and should be excluded from the outset (just look at the one over the CN lines). The time has come for the nature and quality of the urban form not be determined by the needs of the automobile.
  • @jesse_helmer tweeted this page. 2016-03-13 16:15:21 -0400
    What do you think about an Adelaide St grade separation? @jesse_helmer wants to know! #oevldn #ldnont http://www.helmer.ca/adelaide_cpr?recruiter_id=5608
  • commented 2016-03-12 14:40:20 -0500
    I think this is indeed a priority. It’s impossible to have a rapid transit system when two main corridors (Richmond) are paralysed 43 times per day. My biggest concern is the planning implications. Anytime a roadway is raised, it kills the streets beneath it.
  • Jesse Helmer posted about Adelaide Street and Canadian Pacific Railway Grade Separation on Jesse Helmer's Facebook page 2016-03-12 13:42:24 -0500
    What do you think about an Adelaide St grade separation? @jesse_helmer wants to know! #oevldn #ldnont
  • @jesse_helmer tweeted this page. 2016-03-12 13:42:21 -0500
    What do you think about an Adelaide St grade separation? @jesse_helmer wants to know! #oevldn #ldnont http://www.helmer.ca/adelaide_cpr?recruiter_id=5608
  • commented 2016-03-11 14:14:15 -0500
    It would be helpful for the City to explore alternative solutions to the problem of freight rail traffic moving through the urban area. Having so many freight trains moving through the city, on different corridors, at so many different crossings, does not appear help the city economy or quality of life in any way. Here are some questions for consideration:


    1. Could the CN and CP freight lines be consolidated to one corridor and/or relocated to bypass the urban core?


    2. What is the cost-benefit analysis for dealing with each rail crossing and grade separation individually, as never-ending problems arise, as opposed to re-configuring the system?


    3. How does each approach improve safety and reduce the impact that freight trains have on traffic flow, transit, and quality of life in the city?


    4. What is the value of opening up and re-purposing a rail corridor through the urban core?


    5. Whose interests are served by the status quo?


    I think that the City should answer these questions and provide a justification of why they continue to invest in an outdated layout. If this falls under federal jurisdiction then the City should engage with that level of government on the issue.
  • commented 2016-03-10 18:10:56 -0500
    I think the subway option seems cheaper and more visually appealing for the neighbourhood, allowing trees and greenery to stay intact.
  • posted about this on Facebook 2016-03-10 11:28:39 -0500
    What do you think about an Adelaide St grade separation? @jesse_helmer wants to know! #oevldn #ldnont
  • commented 2016-03-10 11:28:22 -0500
    Councillor Helmer – please do whatever you can to accelerate all aspects of this project. A target completion of 2031 is on the wrong side of Shift London, the BRT/LRT project. This should be considered a dependency for Shift as Adelaide will become the primary north-south artery for a number of years during construction on Richmond, Wharncliffe and Highbury. I am also concerned that not enough weight is being given to the obstacles that emergency vehicles face in travelling north-south in the centre of the city. Can you tell us which major road projects are considered more important than this?


    On face value I would think a subway (including leading-edge pedestrian and cycling features) under 2 rail lines would not be overwhelming from an engineering or cost perspective. It would better connect Old East to McMahen Park and the Carling Heights Optimist Community Centre. An overpass can be a visual barrier between neighbourhoods and many cities are removing old elevated roadways. I feel it would be a mistake to build an overpass if a reasonable alternative is available.


    Thanks for the opportunity to comment early in the process.
  • commented 2016-03-10 08:26:31 -0500
    This will be another ‘Ring Road’ project…necessary, overdue, and won’t get done. It was overdue in the 70’s. Only new subdivisions and commercial development get approved….this adding to our reliance on our cars.
  • @jeremyabird tweeted link to this page. 2016-03-10 05:32:21 -0500
    What do you think about an Adelaide St grade separation? @jesse_helmer wants to know! #oevldn #ldnont http://www.helmer.ca/adelaide_cpr?recruiter_id=25854
  • commented 2016-03-10 05:31:47 -0500
    The transportation system will change so much in the next 15 yrs that before it’s completed it will be obsolete. Use the money to prepare for the future not the present. Ex public transit, bike and foot
  • commented 2016-03-10 00:29:05 -0500
    I think it has been a long time coming – this crossing has been an issue for far to long. My vote would be for an underpass as it would be be less disruptive for the neighbourhood than an overpass (bridge). My suggestion is the city looks to try & fast track this somehow (15 years from now is too long to wait).
  • commented 2016-03-09 23:32:48 -0500
    I think it is a good idea and a long time coming.