The City of Toronto has reduced the eastern portion of the Gardiner Expressway down to two lanes in each direction until 2021 as workers begin work to replace the highway’s concrete deck and steel girders.
As of Monday morning, both directions of the Gardiner Expressway were reduced east of York Street as the northern portion of the highway between Jarvis and Cherry streets is replaced. Ahead of the closure, City of Toronto staff warned the construction project would have “a huge impact” for residents and commuters.
“This is going to be quite a challenge,” Chief Engineer Michael D’Andrea told reporters on Friday.
“It’s going to be significant … give yourself lots of extra time.”
D’Andrea said it’s anticipated the work and the associated lane reductions will be in place until 2021. There will also be occasional lane closures of Lake Shore Boulevard East to coincide with the removal and replacement of the highway above.
The work is in addition to the replacement of the westbound ramp to Sherbourne and Jarvis streets, which is slated to be finished in spring 2020.
In mid-2020, it’s scheduled for construction to shift to the south side of the Gardiner Expressway. At that time, the eastbound on-ramp from Jarvis Street will also be replaced.
The City of Toronto said in an effort to expedite construction, it will be pre-fabricating the new sections of the expressway at a nearby location. The new sections will be brought to the site after the old sections are removed.
Officials said the pre-assembly will mean work can be finished up to 40 per cent quicker.
D’Andrea said crews will be working 24 hours a day and seven days a week throughout the duration of the project, but that the noisiest parts of the work will mostly be done by 11 p.m.