Toronto is fuming after Metrolinx says it has no idea when Eglinton LRT will open
The saga of drama involving the long-overdue Eglinton Crosstown LRT continues, as new confidential documents suggest Metrolinx "has no idea" when the project will be finished.
Two city councillors representing the areas of Toronto most affected by the light rail line construction are demanding a public inquiry, and spoke to reporters during a news conference at Yonge Street and Eglinton Avenue on Friday.
Today, Mike Colle and I are announcing our request for a public inquiry into Metrolinx’s delays, cost overruns and mismanagement of the Eglinton Crosstown. We need accountability to see it completed, and so mistakes aren’t repeated as they begin construction on the Ontario Line.— Josh Matlow (@JoshMatlow) December 9, 2022
Councillor for Ward 12 Josh Matlow told CP24 that documents leaked to him and Councillor for Ward 8 Mike Colle suggest Metrolinx "has no idea" when the Eglinton Crosstown will be finished, and as a result of multiple delays, it's running $1 billion over budget.
Toronto City Councillors Mike Colle and Josh Matlow want council to call for a public inquiry into the delays and ballooning budget with the Eglinton Crosstown project #onpoli #topoli pic.twitter.com/cQzaXw3yYl— Lorenda Reddekopp (@CBCLorenda) December 9, 2022
"There's a litany of problems within this confidential document that was leaked to us that demonstrates dozens of failures still yet to be resolved," Matlow told CP24. "And what's clear to me is that the real issues seem to be between the consortium, the contractors and Metrolinx themselves."
The most recent news concerning the already-delayed LRT led to lots of frustrated reactions on social media.
Why can no one specify what the lingering problems are? Most of the stations look done, track is all laid, so what exactly is the problem that is causing the delays?— ElIa Wind (@firstname.lastname@example.org) (@ellulie_) December 8, 2022
One Eglinton resident said it was "maddening" and "insulting" not to have a completion date for the project.
Josh, thank you for speaking out about this! As someone who has lived on Eglinton for over a decade and has had to put up with all this construction, hearing that they don't have a completion plan is maddening and frankly insulting.— Geneviève (@itsatradegy) December 8, 2022
Another person called the area around the LRT a "construction war zone."
Good idea. While your at it, may I suggest we also enquire why the city approved 3 condos to be built in a vicinity of 150 meters of 2 new crosstown stations at the same time right in your ward 12 at Eglinton & Bathurst!! Our neighbourhood is a construction “war zone.”— David Pollak (@WakeUpRef) December 9, 2022
Construction for the Eglinton Crosstown began back in 2011, but since then, it's been plagued by a series of delays that resulted out of lockdowns, supply chain issues, and labour union strikes.
Although the light rail line was supposed to be completed in 2020, Metrolinx provided an update in September 2022 that "Crosslinx Transit Solutions have fallen behind schedule, are unable to finalize construction and testing, and therefore the system will not be operational on this timeline."
Ontario Transportation Minister Caroline Mulroney told reporters today that delays in the project are necessary to ensure to ensure that the line runs smoothly and safely.
"I know that people are so frustrated by this project," Mulroney said. "It's been going on for a very long time."
Metrolinx has not provided a new date for when the Eglinton Crosstown might be complete.
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