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Metrolinx says Eglinton Crosstown LRT on track despite report that project could be delayed, over budget
Codi Wilson, CP24.com
Published Tuesday, December 31, 2019 8:57AM EST
Last Updated Tuesday, December 31, 2019 9:52AM EST
Metrolinx says it is working to open the Eglinton Crosstown LRT on time and on budget amid a report that the project may have gotten off track.
Citing internal Metrolinx documents, the Toronto Star is reporting that the project is at risk of opening several months late and going over budget by more than $330 million.
According to The Star, the documents show that Crosslinx Transit Solutions, the consortium tasked with building the LRT, informed the provincial transit agency that the Eglinton Crosstown may not be finished until May 2022, seven months after the proposed September 2021 deadline.
The anticipated $12.24 billion budget could also balloon to $12.58 billion, according to the newspaper.
In a written statement sent to CP24 on Tuesday morning, Metrolinx spokesperson Fannie Sunshine said the monthly report was “assessing the risks” and “in no way represented the final results.”
“Nothing is confirmed as yet. We are working with the constructor Crosslinx to keep the project on schedule for opening September 2021 and on budget,” Sunshine said.
“Large construction projects such as the Eglinton Crosstown always carry significant risk. As this is the largest transit project in Canada, Metrolinx has put a number of measures in place to oversee the budget and schedule.”
Some of the issues that could delay the project, the Star says, include the discovery of groundwater at what will be Avenue Station and work relating to a rail bridge at the future Mount Dennis Station.
Another issue, according to The Star, is defects found in watertight chambers at Eglinton Station.
“There is a risk at Eglinton Station. It is a very, very old station and we found a surprise,” Metrolinx spokesperson Anne Marie Aikins told CP24 on Tuesday.
“We’re building the LRT Station underneath the subway station. That’s a monumental engineering task and there is something that we have to deal with but we believe it is manageable and we are going to deal with it in the New Year.”
She noted that Metrolinx has a contingency budget for surprise costs and said that the issue at Eglinton Station will not increase the project’s overall price tag.
“We have an independent engineering firm coming in January to assess this most recent challenge that we’ve discovered at Eglinton Station and we’ll be able to report on that in the next few months,” she added.
“We are still tracking for September 2021 and we believe we can get it pretty close to that.”