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Hale Street / Trafalgar Street & CN Rail Crossing City of London


The level railway crossing at the intersection of Trafalgar Street and Hale Street has been a longstanding bottleneck in the City of London’s Arterial Road Network. This unique location features an arterial road, a collector road and three CN rail lines intersecting to form a single, level crossing in an area where land is a mix of residential, commercial and industrial uses. The crossing serves local and city-wide vehicular traffic, transit, cyclists and pedestrians as well as freight and high speed passenger trains. Improvements to the crossing were required to: • Address delays and safety concerns for the 15,000 vehicles using the crossing on a daily basis; • Provide improved safety for cyclists and pedestrians; • Reduce traffic infiltration through adjacent local neighbourhoods; and • Enable the railway to improve efficiency for their shunting operations and for 47 daily freight and passenger trains. Based on an initial evaluation and a review of public comments, provision of a grade separation clearly was the preferred planning solution. A grade separation at this location would benefit: • The Railway, since they would obtain 3.9 km of track to assemble trains that is unencumbered by level crossings; • The Federal Government, since improved rail efficiency would also support their objectives to reduce greenhouse gas emissions; • The Provincial Government, since improved rail efficiency could also relieve some of the pressures commercial traffic places upon local roadways and freeways; and • The City of London, by addressing neighbourhood traffic and safety concerns for a number of modes, and by reducing delays at five other crossings. The recommended design alternative produced by the Environmental Assessment process consisted of a raised, signalized intersection perched over the rail line on a concrete rigid frame structure. A subsequent Value Engineering review concluded that implementing a roundabout rather than a signalized intersection would provide additional benefits as follows: • Reduce the length of the bridge from 115m to 86m resulting in savings of $2M; • Eliminate the need for traffic signals and their associated maintenance costs; • Eliminate the need for left turn lanes; • Reduce the number of potential traffic conflict points from 56 at a signalized intersection to 16, resulting in improved safety; • Reduce the forecasted number and severity of collisions; • Reduce unnecessary idling, air emissions and fuel consumption resulting in improved air quality; and • Provide a focal point for community landscaping. September 2011 3 This project included funding from the Infrastructure Stimulus Program and was completed through a partnership between the Canadian Federal and Ontario Provincial Governments, the City of London, and the Canadian National Railway. Property acquisition and utility relocations were finalized in late 2009 and construction of the grade separation commenced in February 2010. The intersection was opened to traffic in December 2010 with completion of landscaping scheduled for spring of 2011. This intersection is the first major roundabout in London, and it has been well received by the public. To date it is operating successfully and providing the intended improvements for the intersection and rail line.

Conference Paper Details

Session title:
Henry Huotari