Eglinton LRT delayed again, says Metrolinx

The much-delayed Eglinton Crosstown LRT has been delayed yet again.

In a statement Friday, the president and CEO of Metrolinx, the Ontario Crown corporation overseeing the project, said he had expected the transit line that’s plagued Eglinton Avenue with construction for more than decade to be complete by this fall, but the company in charge of building it had fallen short.

“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,” said CEO Phil Verster.

Verster did not say what the new timeline was for the completion of the project.

Crosslinx did not immediately respond to a request for comment from the Star.

The LRT has been under construction since 2011 and was initially set to be complete in 2020, but the timeline for the 19-kilometre transit line has been pushed back a few times.

Verster said Metrolinx understands “construction has been difficult for commuters, communities and businesses along the Eglinton corridor.”

“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.”

Crosslinx is a construction consortium made up of transportation companies ACS-Dragados, Aecon, EllisDon and SNC-Lavalin.

The relationship between Metrolinx and Crosslinx has been rocky for several years. In 2018, the provincial transit agency paid Crosslinx an extra $237 million to keep the project on track. But in February 2020, Metrolinx blamed the LRT’s delayed opening date on Crosslinx’s failure to meet construction targets, plus defects in old infrastructure under the TTC Eglinton station.

In December 2021, Metrolinx, Infrastructure Ontario and Crosslinx struck a new deal on the cost and timeline for the 19-kilometer transit line after a legal battle over who should be responsible for the added costs to the LRT’s construction imposed by the pandemic.

Ultimately, an Ontario Superior Court Justice ruled in Crosslinx’s favour, and the province had to pay Crosslinx an extra $325 million for the $5.5-billion transit project. At the time, Metrolinx said the transit line would be complete by September 2022, and ready for service in 2023.

With files from Ben Spurr

Lex Harvey is a Toronto-based transportation reporter for the Star. Follow her on Twitter: @lexharvs


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