Work crews are rushing to finish up the Somerset Street reconstruction projects.
The section west of Preston, to Bayswater, has its final coat of pavement, the sidewalks are down, and the work crews are putting up the light fixtures:
In the above picture, the concrete base for the fixture has been erroneously installed too low. Instead of being 4″ above the finished sidewalk, in which case the concrete protects the base of the light fixture from being dinged by the sidewalk plows, a few of these were installed flush with the sidewalk. Here’s the row of lights installed (on their raised base):
The astute west sider will notice that these are a new light fixture design. It all comes down to jurisdiction. The O-train line is the ward boundary. West of it, is Kitchissippi Ward, and the Wellington BIA, with its black lamp posts à la Narnia. East of the rail line, but starting a short block over, is the turf of the Preston BIA, which has their own light fixtures, silver with curls. And starting east of Preston is Chinatown BIA, with their new red light fixtures, that transition two blocks further east into the yet-again different 30 year old light fixtures in Chinatown (except at the Arch, which has the new light fixtures).
So, for the bridge, the “solution” was to have a totally different light fixture from all the others. Riders on the No 2 bus can play spot the jurisdiction by reading the light post clues. The bridge also has eight fancy paperclip-styled wooden benches at the summit, for watching the O-train. In case of litter, there’s nifty new ultra-mod garbage cans and bollards.
In the pic below note the small section of sidewalk inlaid with brick. This is temporary, just for the winter. In the spring, a series of sixteen foot long planters will be placed on the bridge, each with two trees and ground covers. At that time, the bricks will be removed and irrigation pipes brought up into the planters from underneath. Somerset viaduct will go from bleak to cool.
Meanwhile, Somerset east of Preston will be first-coat paved and brick sidewalks will be laid (provided the weather holds up) by 5 December, all the way up to Rochester. The area from Rochester to Booth will, if lucky, get one coat of pavement and temporary asphalt sidewalks. As shown in the picture, if you squint, you can see Mayor Watson inspecting the street and handing out $300,000 cheques to the Chinatown BIA and the Preston BIA to make up for the inconvenience. Oops, sorry, that was a miscopy from the Bank Street photo-op. This place aint the Glebe.