Construction traffic disruptions on the agenda at public works meeting

File Photo. Devin Sauer / Global News

TORONTO – Toronto’s Public Works and Infrastructure Committee will meet Tuesday to discuss details on how to further curb traffic disruptions related to various construction projects around the city.

Officials say the construction of sewers, watermains and roads causes lane closures which result in high volumes of traffic congestion each year.

A report by the city’s engineering and construction services recommends a number of measures to help alleviate the problem such as extending construction working hours, exploring the use of incentive-based contracts, and improving public awareness and education.

A 24 hour — 7 days per week schedule is being proposed for projects on expressways and mayor roads, including overnight work and extended daily work hours.

The staff report indicates the new measures will increase the capital cost “premiums” of construction projects to “20 per cent or greater.”

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“A cost-benefit analysis will be conducted on a project-by-project basis to determine whether the benefits of the measures being considered, specifically the user impact from the mitigated traffic disruption, outweigh the capital cost premium that may be encountered in the delivery of the project,” said the report.

These measures are part of Mayor John Tory’s six-point plan to tackle traffic congestion in the city.

“Less traffic disruption means less congestion and yes sometimes we need to pay a little more to get these projects done sooner,” Public Works Chair Jaye Robinson told reporters on Monday.

On Monday, the city launched its zero tolerance policy on rush hour gridlock traffic with dozens of vehicles now being tagged or towed for parking illegally or blocking roadways.

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