Crews will begin digging up part of Bloor Street West on Thursday as work begins on a major project to replace a 142-year-old watermain beneath the road’s surface.

Work on the project technically starts today but a spokesperson for the City of Toronto told CTV News Toronto that while work stations are being set up in the area, the actual digging up of Bloor Street won’t begin until Thursday.

Once construction begins traffic will be reduced to one lane in each direction on Bloor Street West between Bathurst Street and Spadina Avenue to accommodate the work, which is expected to last until December.

In order to expedite the work two crews will work simultaneously at different ends of Bloor Street, the city says.

Work will take place from 7 a.m. to 11 p.m. Monday to Friday and from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. on weekends, as required.

While the replacement of the aging watermain is the primary reason for the project, the city will also be making some improvements to the public realm while the roads are dug up.

As part of the first phase of the project, crews will be constructing parkettes at Robert Street, Howland Street, Brunswick Street and Major Street. The city says that those parkettes will feature sustainable wood decking, bike parking, accent lighting and custom site furnishings, including salvaged materials from the former Honest Ed’s department store.

The second phase of the project will also see the construction of infrastructure to make the Bloor Street bike level or separated from traffic using concrete curbs.

The bike lanes between Spadina Avenue and Avenue Road will be reconstructed in a similar way but not until 2020.

The city is spending $1 billion on work to roads, bridges, expressways, sewers, and watermains this year.