Crosstown LRT Avenue Station

Crosstown LRT construction crew could sue TTC and delay project again

The Eglinton Crosstown LRT is getting another delay but this time it looks to be intentional. Crosstown Transit Solutions (CTS), better known as the construction group building up the infamous Eglinton Crosstown, is planning to not only stop working on the project but also sue and stop working with the Toronto Transit Commission. As of writing CTS has not given a reason for their halt of work or for their lawsuit. 

Metrolinx, the provincial agency building the Crosstown LRT for the Ontario government, recently had a statement put out by its CEO Phil Verster, who said, “This is another unacceptable delay tactic by CTS at a time when they should be submitting a credible schedule to Metrolinx for completing the project.”

“While Metrolinx is driving and supporting CTS to complete the project, CTS is looking for new ways to make financial claims. CTS’s behaviour continues to be disappointing, especially for our Toronto communities who have been waiting patiently for the completion of this project,” Verster added. 

This will not be the first time that the LRT has been delayed. Construction on the project started back in 2011 and was originally scheduled to end some time in 2020 but the completion date has had several delays since that year came and went. 

The first big delay moved the opening of the 25 station LRT from 2020 to September 2021. The after that it was pushed back to Fall 2022, until we were eventually told it would be finished some time in 2023. 

It was later reverlaed in a September 2022 performance report released by Metrolinx that CTS did not have a “credible plan” to complete the over decade long project.

On top of the lack of a “credible plan” the project has also seemingly struggled to reach quality and safety standards and requirements. In April Phil Vester said that the project was facing “260 nonconformances and quality issues that must be rectified,” with most of these being issues with the quality of the track work. 

The current completion date had the LRT set to open some time before the end of this year but now with CTS’ intentions to sue and stop working on the project, this delay could be indefinite. 

CTS is a consortium of different construction companies that include ACS-Dragados, Aecon, EllisDon and SNC-Lavalin. CTS or any of these companies individually have not commented further on the situation. The TTC has also not directly made a statement about the lawsuit. 

“Metrolinx will defend this latest legal challenge by CTS as we have done several times before. The cost of CTS’s delays are for CTS to bear. Metrolinx is already withholding significant payments for poor performance,” Vester said in his Tuesday statement on the matter. 

“We will continue to hold CTS to account and examine every remedy under the Project Agreement to ensure the project is delivered to a high quality and that it is safe and reliable to open.”

This story is on-going and developments are likely to arise. 

Article exclusive to STREETS OF TORONTO