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Underpass to replace Dufferin jog will open November 18

Posted by Rick McGinnis / November 13, 2010

Looking north at Dufferin jog constructionThe steamrollers were at work yesterday at Dufferin and Queen, putting down the roadway through the underpass that will correct the traffic-clogging Dufferin jog over a century after it came into existence. As reported last year, politicians were hoping to have construction finished before the municipal elections, but workers on the site all said that the grand opening of the - nearly, but not totally complete - tunnel will take place on November 18.

City plaqueIt's not the Brooklyn Bridge or the Boston Big Dig, but the Dufferin underpass is an impressive piece of engineering nonetheless, largely because traffic on the busy rail corridor running overhead continued uninterrupted throughout construction. You can still see the smudgy footprints of the forest of supports that held it all up on the roof of the tunnel, and the designers have fittingly left the gracefully-curved steel arch exposed on the Queen Street end. With its bolt-studded bands, it fits in nicely with the Victorian engineering of the original Queen Street Subway just to the east.

Inside the Dufferin underpassWith the tunnel lights blazing in the middle of the afternoon, the inside of the underpass looks sci-fi clean for the moment; a slushy Toronto winter and the attentions of the Parkdale's taggers and bill posters will doubtless take care of that. And, at this point at least, the little amphitheatre-like parkette to the west looks eminently skateboard-friendly.

detail of arch at Dufferin jogDufferin underpass skate parketteWalking along the northern end of the site, I can't help but wonder if it isn't time to buy property on block-long Peel Street, where the Dufferin bus has detoured for decades. It'll be pretty quiet soon, and with its proximity to the Gladstone and Queen West, it could end up going from grimy little thoroughfare to urban enclave.
Looking south at construction of Dufferin jog



Jeff / November 13, 2010 at 11:23 am

Kevin Bracken / November 13, 2010 at 11:40 am
I definitely picked the right time to live on Peel Ave.
Roland / November 13, 2010 at 12:27 pm
"and the attentions of the Parkdale's taggers and bill posters will doubtless take care of that."

Translation: when worthless assholes with no sense of civic pride decide to shit all over what others have built.
Torontonian / November 13, 2010 at 12:54 pm
This might be the last public address by David Miller
and the underpass is part of his legacy.

I wonder how--or if--Rob Ford voted on the issue.
Bonk / November 13, 2010 at 04:49 pm
Curious there are no guardrails to prevent vehicles from crashing into the centre pillars much like a certain people's princess.
Adam replying to a comment from Bonk / November 13, 2010 at 09:03 pm
I think the pillars might be necessary to support the overpass.
Traveller replying to a comment from Bonk / November 13, 2010 at 09:47 pm
In the first photo it looks like the centre median is solid for the first couple of feet up from the road surface (waist high on a construction worker there), so that you'd need to get your Mercedes airborne in order to execute a sudden stop against a pillar. No doubt this is a design feature.
C K / November 14, 2010 at 12:02 am
Hope they put in stop lights at Florence street to replace the pedestrian walkway that is there now. I can imagine that will be a dangerous corner when cars are able to drive faster down the Dufferin Street strip.
SC / November 14, 2010 at 09:59 am
I rented work space in the building on the north west side for 5 years and I'm happy to see the improvement. The cul de sac was grimy and Dufferin will function much better. Good job Toronto.
scottd / November 14, 2010 at 05:41 pm
This took soooooooo long to happen. I remember them talking about it in 1981.
George S / November 15, 2010 at 04:49 am
This is great I can't wait to see it working for the bus as well as regular traffic. I live in Scarborough and have never rode the #29 bus route but I do know that it is considered one of the heavily used routes. So this investment is going to save a lot of transit users some time as well as all the regular traffic.

I hope that our present mayor, Ford, sees this investment and improvement for the lives of us Torontonians and makes some more similar infrastructure investments. I would like to see an underpass built on the Stouffville line near Danforth Rd and Midland intersection. This too would make things a lot safer and help speed up both train traffic as well as road traffic which would include the heavily used #16 McCowan bus.
Justin / November 23, 2010 at 01:47 pm
The Midland / Danforth overpass is too cramped to do this sort of project. It would definitely require expropriating, at the least, the newly decontaminated gas station, the ugly used car lot with a monster truck, and all of the buildings around the Summer intersection (which would have to become a dead-end, assuming Danforth was dug below the railway.

In short, ain't gonna happen. The once an hour GO doesn't justify the incredible amount of work and time it would take to build a grade seperation. Shoulda done it in the 50s.
kn / December 31, 2010 at 04:46 pm
Has anyone noticed that this underpass, that is the main supports of the bridge, don't line up with the centre of the southern part of Dufferin?? why wouldn't they make a direct path across the intersection?? Very odd. And sorry but those ghastly lights in the underpass are an awful colour. I see test lamps here and there around the city with this same cold glow. Dear city, this city feels inviting at night because many of the street lights are warm tungsten, ie 3200k not yellow green, not magenta or greenish blue. Thank you.
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