By Amaan Jabbar

Anyone who uses Port Union Road will notice that the City of Toronto has started its road reconstruction and water main replacement project on that street. The work began on July 10 and the first phase from Island Rd. to Lawson Rd. is expected to conclude by December 2024 (although this timeline is subject to adjustments). This project is set to redefine the infrastructure of our community.

Project Overview

The Port Union Road widening project encompasses a range of improvements that will serve the community for years to come. Among the highlights, this project aims to add a new northbound vehicle lane, a critical move to alleviate traffic congestion and enhance the flow of vehicles. The project will also involve the installation of raised cycle tracks and continuous sidewalks on both sides of the road, fostering a safer and more accessible environment for pedestrians and cyclists.

Safety at the Core

To address the needs of the community, the City of Toronto has taken measures to ensure road safety for all. New centre-turn lanes will be strategically placed at select locations, aiming to mitigate potential traffic conflicts and enhance the overall traffic management. Additionally, the project will introduce curb extensions with raised pedestrian crossings at side streets, making the road safer for pedestrians to cross.

Phased Approach

Recognizing the importance of minimizing disruptions, the construction work will be divided into two distinct phases.

Phase 1 July 2023 to June 2024: Island Rd. to Lawson Rd.

Phase 2 June 2024 to December 2024: Lawson Rd. to Lawrence Ave. East

By breaking down the project into these phases, the city aims to ensure that the inconveniences for residents and businesses are kept to a minimum while maintaining steady progress towards the ultimate goal of improving Port Union Road.

Traffic Adjustments

As with any construction project of this scale, there will be traffic adjustments that the community should be aware of. Throughout the project’s duration, traffic will be restricted to a single lane both southbound and northbound. These temporary measures are in place to ensure the safety of all road users and the workers involved in the construction. While these adjustments might lead to some short-term inconvenience, the long-term benefits of the widened road and improved infrastructure will outweigh the temporary disruptions.

A Vision in Motion

It’s important to recognize that the Port Union Road widening project is not an isolated endeavour but rather a part of the comprehensive 2023 Capital Works Program, approved by City Council. This larger program aims to rejuvenate aging roads and sidewalks within the city, ensuring that they meet the present and future requirements of Toronto.

In conclusion, the upcoming Port Union Road widening project represents a vital step toward creating a safer, more efficient and more accessible community in Scarborough. While there might be some temporary inconveniences during the construction process, the long-term benefits are set to transform the way we navigate and experience our neighbourhood. Stay tuned for further updates as the project progresses.