A new construction project will take over a critical west London commuter route. Here’s what you need to know

The City of London will begin construction of a new roundabout at the intersection of Oxford Street West and Gideon Drive this spring.

Director of Roads and Transportation Doug MacRae said the work will go on throughout the summer.

“The entire construction season and it will extend into the following year for some minor works,” he told CTV News London.

The main challenge is that there are limited east-west travel routes through west London. The primary routes are Longwoods Road to the south, Fanshawe Park Road to the north and Oxford Street through the centre.

“Obviously, not the most convenient for me, for sure,” said Matthew Dengate. He and his young family live in the West 5 neighbourhood, which sits less than kilometre from the intersection.

He is supervisor for the London Children’s Connection after-school program at Delaware Central School and travels down Oxford Street West twice a day. But he knows he’s going to need to build in more travel time.

“I’m assuming I’d have to go down Westdell Bourne to Longwoods [Road]. It’s the only other way to get there,” he explained.

Growth in places such as Kilworth, Komoka and Mount Brydges has dramatically increased traffic volumes along Glendon Road, which turns into Oxford Street West at the Middlesex County border.

MacRae said there is a strategy to limit traffic slowdowns.

“The construction site is unique in that we have a little bit more space available than typical,” he said.

MacRae said that open space should help keep things flowing, with a detour route planned for south of Oxford, “To maintain traffic for the busy east-west movement.”

Still there will be slowdowns, but Dengate welcomes the roundabout. He said the angle of approach for traffic coming off Gideon Road and merging with eastbound Oxford Street West is a big concern, especially with the increased number of vehicles.

“During the winter, I get home at six [p.m.], so it’s dark out, right? It’s dark, the roads are slippery and craning your neck like that can be scary at times,” he said.

MacRae said the city has seen success putting roundabouts in locations where vehicles are coming from rural area to urban areas, where speeds transition from fast to slower.

“A roundabout makes a lot more sense to accommodate both the growth and also to have that merging traffic merge in a much safer manner,” he said.

The city will host a virtual public update on the project on Feb. 15 at noon. 

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