The Ontario government announced it will submit proposals to extend tunnelling work on the Eglinton Crosstown westwards towards Etobicoke and into Mississauga.
“Today, we’re here to take another critical step as we work to deliver subways to the people of Etobicoke and Mississauga, because the people of Mississauga and Etobicoke deserve rapid, underground transit,” Premier Doug Ford said at a press conference Wednesday afternoon.
A Request for Proposals (RFP) will be made Thursday to advance tunnelling work on the Eglinton Crosstown West extension. The province said it will ask selected teams to submit their plan to “design and deliver” the tunnelling work needed for the project.
Infrastructure Ontario and Metrolinx are expected to award the contract in mid-2021, the government said.
The Ontario government said tunnelling will begin first followed by separate contracts for the rest of the work needed in order to expedite work on the Eglinton Crosstown West extension.
“We aren’t going to close down Eglinton Avenue, one of the busiest streets in Toronto. We’re going to dig, we’re going to tunnel, we’re going to put that line underground where it belongs,” Ford added.
The Eglinton Crosstown West Extension will extend the Eglinton Crosstown LRT project — which is currently under construction — by 9.2 kilometres from the future Mount Dennis Station to Renforth Drive in Etobicoke. This will then connect to other TTC, GO and MiWay routes.
Ford said his government is working with the GTAA for a connection to Pearson Airport.
This subway project is part of the Ontario government’s transit plan for the GTA announced in April 2019 that also included the Scarborough subway extension, the Ontario Line and the Yonge North subway extension.
“We are planning, not for today, but for the next 50 to 100 years,” Ford said.
However, the premier said he has asked for funding from the federal government to back the transit plan which he has not yet received.
“We just haven’t seen the cheque. I have all the confidence in the world that the Prime Minister and Deputy Prime Minister will come to the table, it’s absolutely critical,” Ford said.