Eglinton Crosstown won’t be ready this fall, Metrolinx says

Metrolinx says it will not be able to meet a previously-set soft target of September for substantially completing the new Eglinton Crosstown light rail line.

The provincial agency responsible for regional transit in the GTA said Friday that while it had hoped for work to be substantially complete on the line by September, it will not be done this fall.

“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,” Metrolinx CEO Phil Verster said in a statement Friday.

“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.”

Verster’s statement acknowledged that construction “has been difficult” for many parties, including businesses, commuters and those living along the line.

He said Metrolinx is “doing everything to hold Crosslinx Transit Solutions accountable and to redouble efforts to meet their commitments.”

The transit agency has been butting heads over the past few years with the consortium hired to build the line.

Crosslinx filed a lawsuit against Metrolinx and Infrastructure Ontario in October 2020, saying that they should not be held accountable for delays in cost overruns on the project because of the COVID-19 pandemic. A judge eventually sided with the consortium and the two sides renegotiated an agreement in December that the line would be substantially complete by September 2022 and open several months later.

Construction on the line started more than a decade ago in the summer of 2011. At inception, the $5.5 billion line was expected to be complete by 2020.

Verster said he hopes for the line to be complete “as soon as possible” but offered no new target date.

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