eglinton crosstown lrt

Here's how far Toronto's Eglinton Crosstown LRT construction advanced in 2021

Toronto's next transit line made substantial steps towards completion in 2021, and with the Eglinton Crosstown light rail transit (LRT) line preparing to enter service later this year, Metrolinx has shared a look back into the last year of progress and a preview of what's to come in 2022.

Despite much-talked-about delays in construction, the last year saw plenty of project milestones, including the installation of the line's final section of track, the completion of all surface-level stop shelters, and most notably, the delivery of light rail vehicles for testing.

Metrolinx CEO Phil Verster is featured in a new video that looks back on the last year of progress while also touching on some of the upcoming milestones to look forward to for the new year.

Verster reports "significant progress made to the 19-kilometre rapid transit line. Construction crews are nearing the completion of major works at a number of key locations. Mount Dennis, Keelesdale, Oakwood, Laird, and Science Centre stations have already finished all major construction work while several other stations will finish early in 2022."

"We've already begun system testing work on the western portion of the line between Mount Dennis and Chaplin stations, and the eastern portion between Brentcliffe Road and Ionview Road. And now, with testing happening between Avenue and Laird stations, vehicles can run across the entire length of the Crosstown LRT corridor."

Future milestones to look forward to include the imminent completion of other stations along the line, which will, in turn, allow the traffic-generating lane occupancies near stations to be eliminated. Yes, the traffic nightmare that is Eglinton Avenue is expected to be cleared up before the line's opening.

In fact, roads and other infrastructure will actually improve from pre-Crosstown conditions, with Verster saying, "we've added 2.4 km of upgraded water mains, built over a kilometre of upgraded sewer systems, and added 800 meters of upgraded storm sewers."

"That's in addition to replacing 14.3 km of street lights and reconstructing nearly 12 km of roadway — we even built a new bridge while upgrading five others," he adds.

When the Crosstown reaches substantial completion and enters revenue service as the TTC's Line 5 later this year, it will connect commuters with three subway interchanges, 54 TTC bus routes, two GO Transit stations, and the UP Express.

And this is just the first phase of the LRT, with a western extension gearing up to add another seven stops to the line, carrying Line 5 well into Mississauga.

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