Metrolinx, the region’s public transit agency, has agreed to a new deadline to complete work on its Crosstown LRT project, one which will extend the rail up through downtown Toronto in East York, according to a statement the agency released Friday.
The transit agency, which said it has “done a significant amount of work” to improve the technical aspects of the light rail project, expects to be able to complete the work, including construction and signaling, in three and a half years, reducing the projected completion date from the original five years.
The political decision to abandon the BRT portion of the light rail project — which was touted as one of the reasons to build the rail line in the first place — did not cause the much longer timeline, the agency said.
“Our first priority is the design and construction of the LRT as far as the track, stations and signal infrastructure; Phase 2’s Final Environmental Impact Assessment; and Complete the Environmental Assessment required for construction of the Overland Loop,” Ted McConnell, Metrolinx’ COO, said in a statement. “Those are the elements that will help us to close the gap between Phase 1 and Phase 2 by providing certainty for contractors, land owners and the many stakeholders who have been waiting to see when this work will start.”
The agency said it expects to receive roughly $45 million in additional federal infrastructure funding — roughly one-third of the amount it has to complete the work — and will have to make up the rest from federal, provincial and local governments.