By Jessica Lovell
Guelph Transit is holding off on making the move from St. George’s Square to the new terminal on Carden Street for an extra week in hopes of making a smoother transition for riders.
The city buses will begin meeting at the new Guelph Central Station on May 13, rather than on the planned terminal opening date of May 6, because of construction on the intersection at Macdonell and Woolwich streets.
Delaying the move makes more sense than the detours that would result if Guelph Transit stuck to the schedule, said Guelph Transit general manager Michael Anders.
“I think it’s better,” he said.Work on the Woolwich and Macdonell intersection will not start until after Wyndham Street reopens on May 2, said the city’s general manager of engineering services, Richard Henry.
“I don’t want to close both intersections at the same time,” said Henry.
Wyndham Street is currently closed at the Carden Street intersection. Wyndham is first in line to be paved on May 1. The road should reopen May 2, which is the same day work is to begin at Woolwich and Macdonell.
The contractor has assured the city that work on the intersection will be done by the May 13 transit move, said Henry.
After that, construction will continue on Macdonell Street, but road closures will not be necessary, as work will be done in the curb lane, he said.
During construction on Woolwich, “there will be one lane in each direction maintained,” he said.
Changes to transit routes, which were scheduled to line up with the move to the new terminal, will go ahead as planned on May 6 in spite of the delayed move.
“There are not a lot of things that will be changing out of the square on May 6,” said Anders, explaining that it was not necessary to delay the route changes to match up with the move.
Significant changes being made will happen at the University Centre, where riders previously had to change buses to stay on the same route.
Now, “if you’re trying to get somewhere on the 2A, you don’t have to change vehicles,” explained Anders.
The changes are being made based on feedback from riders, he said.
In order to get the move out about the changes and the delayed move to Carden, Guelph Transit will be providing information packages to its operators and putting posters on buses to remind riders.
Guelph Transit staff will also be in St. George’s Square handing out information.
The Woolwich and Macdonell intersection will be closed entirely at the beginning of May while underground sewer and water pipes are relocated. If this closure were to happen after the transit move, “all the routes would have had to have been detoured, and all the routes would have been delayed,” said Anders.
As it is, the intersection is expected to reopen before May 13, but there may still be some delays as construction is expected to continue on Woolwich and Macdonell until July. “We may expect some delays, but we’ll have to monitor that,” said Anders.
The work on the intersection is required for a proposed 18-storey condo development nearby.