5 more months of delays expected before completion of Eglinton Crosstown LRT

Eglinton Crosstown LRT construction scaffolding and equipment obstructing storefronts at Eglinton and Oakwood avenues. Kayla McLean/ Global News

The provincial transit authority in charge of overseeing the Eglinton Crosstown LRT said it was caught by surprise after receiving a report indicating the project won’t be fully completed until September 2022.

The 19-kilometre project has already faced multiple setbacks, including an already delayed opening date of September 2021. In February, Metrolinx admitted the project wouldn’t be done until sometime in 2022. Now, a report issued by Moody’s Investor Service has signaled the transit line will be “materially delayed” adding yet another setback.

According to the Moody’s report, the majority of the $5.3-billion project will be ready to open by Feb. 28, 2022.

Read more: Coronavirus hasn’t ‘significantly’ impacted Eglinton Crosstown construction: Metrolinx CEO

However, the 25-stop line would be opening with only 24 stops. The proposal states the flagship Yonge-Eglinton station will require further work before it’s ready to open sometime in September of 2022.

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Issues with the construction of the Yonge-Eglinton station were already blamed for the latest delay in the LRT’s completion. Crosslinx Transit Solutions (CTS), a consortium of construction companies contracted by Metrolinx to build the transit line, blamed infrastructure issues with the existing subway station where the LRT station is being built.

Read more: Toronto’s Eglinton Crosstown LRT opening delayed until 2022

While CTS wants an extra five months to sort through the issues of building the Yonge-Eglinton stop, Metrolinx is holding firm that any further delays are unacceptable.

“CTS has not achieved necessary production rates to achieve the original project schedule that they committed to in their bid,” said Metrolinx CEO Phil Verster in a statement.

“Metrolinx is focused on ensuring that CTS fully meets its obligations to deliver a system as soon as possible – a system that is complete, fully tested and ready to provide high quality, safe and reliable service to our customers,” said Verster.

Metrolinx Spokesperson Anne-Marie Aikens added that the opening of the Crosstown LRT without the Eglinton station was unacceptable to the transit agency. She noted tens of thousands of passengers will transfer at the station between the LRT and the TTC’s Line 1 subway, making its opening critical to the operation.

Click to play video: 'Metrolinx delays completion date of Eglinton-Crosstown LRT raising questions about future Toronto' Metrolinx delays completion date of Eglinton-Crosstown LRT raising questions about future Toronto
Metrolinx delays completion date of Eglinton-Crosstown LRT raising questions about future Toronto – Feb 18, 2020

In a statement to Global News, CTS stated “labour shortages as well as delays in the supply chain due to COVID-19, are putting additional pressure on project timelines.”

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CTS said it added a third shift and weekend work at multiple construction sites along the project.

“Despite these challenges, the Crosstown is 70 per cent complete,” CTS added. “This includes major station construction, the installation of 32 km of track – 66 percent – and the start of vehicle testing.”

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