Ontario Construction Report editor
The opening date of the Eglinton Crosstown Light Rail Transit (LRT) line will be announced by the end of the summer, Metrolinx CEO Phil Verster in late August.
He made the statement responding to a question at an unrelated news conference.
“There’s been a huge amount of work to figure out what a credible schedule looks like,” Verster said. “(I’m) keen to give you by the end of the summer a clear indication of when that Line 5 would be in service.”
Construction on the $5.5 billion Crosstown began in 2011 and has been delayed several times for issues including the COVID-19 pandemic and supply chain problems..
Also, more than 200 quality control issues were identified this year, including improperly laid tracks in May it was reported that the completion would be delayed until 2024.
Verster now expects to announce a range of dates instead of an exact opening day, considering the line is still in the testing and commissioning phase.
“This is when technical, complex issues are found fixed, rectified. And it’s not really clear before you found the problem how long it’s going to take to rectify,” he said, adding Metrolinx and the TTC have now signed off to start training operators, a step he called critical towards completing the line.
MPP Stan Cho, the associate minister of transportation who was also at the news conference, said construction of the line is 98 per cent complete.
“The priority now is about making sure this is safe to operate. You don’t want to rush and open a line. We see what happens with the example of what’s happened in Ottawa with the derailment of the light rail there,” he said.