Commuters are asked if whether or not Pape station should close temporary to speed up the construction process

Commuters polled on delays at Pape subway station

Commuters who rely on Pape subway station have a big decision to make.

TTC is conducting a survey with riders to determine the best and fastest way forward to completing renovations at the subway station, along the busy Bloor-Danforth line.

Renovations, which have been ongoing since 2009, are currently behind schedule and the TTC wants to speed things up. Up to April 17, Pape station users will be polled on how best to proceed.

Their options include closing the station completely for 12 consecutive days during the summer, six consecutive weekends, or proceed as usual. TTC said closing the station will shave three months of the renovations.

The announcement was posted on Wednesday throughout the station urging people to give their opinion through an on line survey.

“If we do a closure, we believe we can finish the majority of construction by September 2013,” said TTC spokesperson Devin Horne.

“We are hoping to speed up the construction and one of the ways to do that is to close the station down so they can get some of that work done. That’s difficult to do when the station is in operation.”

Horne said the schedule for renovations came of the tracks because of unexpected difficulties: “When they were digging below, they discovered couple of conditions that resulted in some construction challenges.

“They discovered oil and salt in the soils and that necessitated some separation and removal of the soils.”

Horne added there were also some previously unknown underground concrete and steel structure obstructions that were remaining from the original station and those obstacles needed to be removed.

“There were also some older city water mains that ended up being replaced as a result of the project,” Horne said.

For one local business however, the options are far from ideal.

John Hatzis, a manager at The Palace Restaurant, directly across from the station on Pape Avenue, said it’s going to have a big impact on the area if the station closes down.

“Pape station’s one of the busiest stations around,” he said.

“If they close it down, people would be getting off at Chester or other stations [and] won’t pass through the area here. We have a lot of people who come from the subway.

“They’ve already been working on it three years. I don’t understand why they need to close it down. How much of a difference is it really going to make?,” Hatzis said.

“They might as well just keep it open and spend the extra three months or whatever it’s going to take to build it.”