Opening of Eglinton Crosstown LRT delayed until 2022
It looks like Toronto commuters will have longer to wait than expected for a ride on the Eglinton Crosstown LRT.
The highly-anticipated (and completely transformative) new public transit line, which will run east-to-west across midtown Toronto for 19 kilometres with 25 stops, won't be opening in September of 2021 as promised.
This, according to Metrolinx, which has now been working on the project for more than 10 years.
"It is expected that the LRT will open well into 2022," said the transit agency's president and CEO, Phil Verster, in an announcement on Tuesday morning.
"Ultimately, our goal is to deliver more transit to the region as quickly as possible without compromising safety or quality. Like all transit riders in the region, we are disappointed that the Eglinton Crosstown LRT will not be operational in September 2021."
I’m shocked. SHOCKED I TELL YOU. https://t.co/rwWyUNf2fH— Rachel C (@chertky) February 18, 2020
Metrolinx blames the delay, at least in part, on Crosslinx Transit Solutions — the consortium of contractors chosen by Infrastructure Ontario to build the $5.3 billion Eglinton Crosstown LRT back in 2015.
"Unfortunately, Crosslinx Transit Solutions (CTS) has faced a number of challenges since the start of the project, including starting nine months later than planned after contract award in July 2015, were slow to finalize the designs with some design work packages," writes Verster.
"Although CTS has significantly improved its production rate since the 2018 agreement, it has achieved only 84 per cent of its target, meaning the project will be delayed."
It is of note that CTS did file a lawsuit against Metrolinx in July of 2018 seeking more time to complete the work, as well as more money. The two parties reached a settlement in September of that year.
The provincial transit agency had asked to have the case deferred until after the project was done, but vowed again after reaching a settlement with CTS (the terms of which were not revealed) that it would hit its original September 2021 deadline.
Metrolinx also stated in its Tuesday morning announcement that an "unpredictable, but safe" defect had been found under the TTC station box Eglinton-Yonge station, further delaying work on the Crosstown LRT.
"Metrolinx, Infrastructure Ontario, CTS, and the TTC have been seized with addressing this defect and although a way forward has been determined, the station will be delayed further," the statement reads.
Verster stressed that the project itself still remains within budget, and said that Metrolinx will keep the public updated as to how work is progressing on the new transit line over the next two years.
Once open, the Eglinton Crosstown will run as Line 5 of Toronto's TTC subway system, providing at least a modicum of relief to those currently suffering through dangerously overcrowded commutes every day.
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