Crosstown LRT Avenue Station

Crosstown LRT completion pushed back another year

Defect at Yonge and Eglinton extends opening date to 2022

Residents who’ve grown weary of the constant construction and gridlock along Eglinton Avenue in Toronto are going to have to wait a little longer for that light at the end of the tunnel.

Metrolinx’s Crosstown Light Rail Transit (LRT) project has pushed its opening date back a year, due to a concrete defect at Yonge and Eglinton.

In a press release on Tuesday, Metrolinx CEO Phil Verster said the project has faced several challenges that have extended its opening date until well into 2022.

 


Construction began in the summer of 2011 and the project was initially expected to be completed by 2021. But according to Verster, the project has achieved only 84 per cent of its target.

“In addition, an unpredictable, but safe, defect was found under the TTC station box at Eglinton-Yonge station,” Verster explained. “Metrolinx, Infrastructure Ontario, Crosslinx Transit Solutions [CTS], and the TTC have been seized with addressing this defect and although a way forward has been determined, the station will be delayed further.”

 

A view of the tunnels at Oakwood station in 2018 (Metrolinx)

Local residents and businesses in the area have experienced everything from round-the-clock noise and vibrations to a reduction in foot traffic for retailers and restaurants since the boring machines began back in 2013.

The new setback means the transit agency does not yet have a specific completion date.

“Metrolinx and Infrastructure Ontario are not making any precise predictions of the project completion date at this point, simply because CTS must prove to us that they can achieve the new production rates they say they can achieve. It is important to note that the project remains within budget,” Verster added.

 

Intersection at Yonge and Eglinton
Intersection at Yonge and Eglinton (Metrolinx)

In the meantime, Verster said the transit agency will keep the public apprised on how work is progressing.

“Ultimately, our goal is to deliver more transit to the region as quickly as possible without compromising safety or quality,” he said. “Like all transit riders in the region, we are disappointed that the Eglinton Crosstown LRT will not be operational in September 2021.”

Article exclusive to TRNTO