Crosstown LRT

Crosstown LRT might be delayed another year as Ford plays blame game

Once upon a time the city had a grand idea for a light-rail transit line to be built straight across the city along the Eglinton Avenue corridor. It was set to be the most ambitious transit project in the whole of North America with construction and tunnelling beginning in 2011, the provincial agency behind what was dubbed the Crosstown LRT said get those Presto cards ready we are going to open this shimmering wonder of the modern age in 2020. Well, it’s 2023 and, according to a new report, the Crosstown LRT will not open yet again this year, the third year behind schedule.

In fact, Crosstown construction seems to be going in reverse. Earlier this week, it was noted that one east-end station on the LRT line is getting concrete taken out to correct an error.

According to Toronto Sun columnist Brian Lilley, multiple sources have confirmed to him that it isn’t happening in 2023, maybe 2024. It might never open. Who knows?

Not surprisingly, the same sources stated that the Finch West LRT isn’t happening this year either.

According to Metrolinx, one of the big issues is Eglinton Station. The agency just announced that traffic at the intersection will shift as of May 1. ”

Traffic on Eglinton Avenue will shift to the north side of the street, and construction will move to the south side. The crosswalk on the south side of the intersection will remain closed; all other crosswalks will remain open,” according to Metrolinx.

Construction will begin on the south side of Eglinton and this plan will remain in place for three months at least.

There are also major changes coming to Eglinton and Avenue Road as construction begins on “road restoration, sidewalk and bike lane construction, and utility works will take place on the south side of Eglinton Avenue between Oriole Parkway and Eastbourne Avenue,” for at least a month.

According to Lilley, the Ford government, which has presided over the project since 2018, is currently blaming the past government for mismanaging the project, and angling to put more significant blame on Crosslinx, a consortium of construction companies building the transit line for Metrolinx.

“Blaming the company hired to do the work while not demanding accountability from the government or its agencies is ludicrous; but behind the scenes, that’s what the Ford government is pushing — they want to blame Crosslinx,” he wrote.

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