Toronto transit line will have to make great strides to open on target for 2023
As Toronto waits for the long-overdue Eglinton Crosstown LRT to enter service, another line is pressing through construction a few kilometres to the north along Finch Avenue West, expected for completion later this year.
But will passengers actually get to ride the new Finch West LRT in 2023 as originally predicted?
A new update from Metrolinx casts doubt over the line's readiness, revealing that several critical components are as little as 50 per cent installed as the months tick down before the year comes to a close.
In an April 17 progress report, Metrolinx announced substantial progress on the line, including major steps forward for the LRT's guideway, two terminus stations, and maintenance and storage facility.
Structural work is complete for the two underground stations at Finch West and Humber College, and interior fit-out work is ongoing.
A portal that will carry light rail vehicles (LRVs) from street level into and out of Finch West Station is now in its final stages of construction, but the station itself is still in a relatively raw-looking state based on recent photos.
Humber College Station appears further along, but still far from ready. Last month, crews began to install the over 150 panes of glass that will line the station's interior and exterior facades.
A 200-metre-long covered walkway linking the station to Humber College is still only in its foundation stages, one of many elements that might come down to the wire with a planned construction end before the year is out.
Three of the total 18 LRVs that will operate on the line remain to be delivered, as testing of the current 15 continues.
The line's 11-kilometre guideway along Finch Avenue may also be a race to the finish line. At the end of March, crews still had eight per cent of the guideway base slab remaining to pour, and 26 per cent of the track slab.
Rail installation was only 50 per cent complete, and just 56 of the 116 shelter canopies along the line had been installed.
A Metrolinx representative tells blogTO that "construction for the Finch West LRT is expected to be completed later this year."
The regional transit agency casts further doubt that the line will actually see a start of revenue service this year, adding, "an in-service date will be determined in collaboration with TTC once this work has been completed."
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