The Eglinton Crosstown LRT will be delayed by about a year, a source with knowledge of the project has told CBC Toronto.
The 19-kilometer light rapid transit line was to be up and running by the end of this year.
The source says the major issues causing the delay are related to construction of underground stations, particularly at Yonge Street and Eglinton Avenue. Most of the underground stations are behind schedule.
At Yonge and Eglinton, the delay is due to the difficult engineering involved in digging and building under the existing subway station, the source says..
The source says the very earliest that the line could be operational is about a year from now. Metrolinx doesn’t want to launch the service with many issues unresolved, the source says.
In a statement on Metrolinx’s website on Friday, president and CEO Phil Verster said the Eglinton Crosstown is delayed and will not be in operation this fall as expected. He did not provide a new date for the launch of the service.
“We had expected the Eglinton Crosstown LRT to be fully built, thoroughly tested, and in service this fall in accordance with our project agreement with Crosslinx Transit Solutions, the construction consortium responsible for building the project,” Verster said in the statement.
“Unfortunately, while progress has been made, Crosslinx Transit Solutions have fallen behind schedule, are unable to finalize construction and testing, and therefore the system will not be operational on this timeline.”
Project started in 2011
The line is to run along Eglinton Avenue with 25 stops from Kennedy in the east to Mount Dennis in the west.
It has been under construction since 2011 and has had its opening date pushed back several times. It was scheduled to open in 2020 when the project was first announced.
Verster said he realizes that construction has taken its toll on commuters, communities and businesses along the route.
“We are doing everything to hold Crosslinx Transit Solutions accountable and to redouble efforts to meet their commitments and complete the work quickly so we can welcome riders onto a complete, tested, and fully operational Eglinton Crosstown LRT as soon as possible.”
On its website, Metrolinx still says: “The Crosstown will open as Line 5 Eglinton, in 2022.”
On Friday, Mayor John said in a statement that the Eglinton Crosstown needs to open as soon as possible.
“While this massive project, when it does open will be a huge step forward for transit in Toronto and while I do take heart from the evident progress on stations and from seeing vehicles actually being tested, the more than a decade of construction has been absolutely brutal for residents, businesses, and commuters along Eglinton Avenue right across our city,” Tory said in the statement.
“I’ll be reaching out to Metrolinx on behalf of the people of Toronto to share my frustration with these construction delays and to strongly urge them to do everything possible to finish this project and get the Crosstown open.”