Monday, April 2, 2012

Somerset Street Reconstruction Part 9: Bridge Sidewalks B

In this, part 9 of the 15-part series on last year's reconstruction of Somerset Street West, we continue along the sidewalks of the bridge over the O-Train tracks.

Unlike the precast paver sidewalks further east on Somerset described in part 3, on the bridge the sidewalks are poured concrete with a red band along the edge (as described in the previous post).

In 2009, some of the bridge's expansion joints were repaired and the sidewalk was expanded with the new red band on that section. Here's a closeup from June 2010 showing how that red band weathered the year.

The band stays the same width the whole length, so in places where the sidewalk is narrow due to parking, it looks more like the sidewalk is divided in two than decorated with trim.

But it hugs the curb edge as the sidewalk widens. Bollards mark the end of the parking zone and the extension of the sidewalk into the roadway.

A similar red band will be used on Bronson Avenue as part of the reconstruction, and the band will skip over the curb depressions to mark the formal entranceways to buildings. The only such location in this stretch of sidewalk is at the antique store, which has a lip behind the sidewalk.

The sidewalk didn't previously have a lip because it dipped both ways to allow cars to drive over the sidewalk. The sidewalk is still sloped toward the road, but not nearly as much as it used to, making conditions less dangerous for pedestrians when the sidewalk is slippery.

The bulbout we saw outlined in the previous post is there, too. It serves multiple purposes, the chief ones being to discourage motorists passing on the right in the parking lane and to provide a rare space for a tree on the North side of the sidewalk (other than the ones up on the bridge itself, detailed in part 8).

This is it for the sidewalks. We'll come back to the bridge in Part 14* to talk about some technical issues with the bridge railings, but in the next few posts we'll look the City Centre building and the tunnel added under Somerset Street to allow for a pathway along the O-Train line. Stay tuned!

*Links won't work until the post goes up

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