Toronto jumping at an “unprecedented opportunity” to ramp up construction projects across the city

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Ontario Construction Report staff writer

With traffic volumes on Toronto’s roads down between 45 and 65 per cent as a result of COVID-19, the city will accelerate as many important construction projects as possible and continue maintenance work to renew aging transportation and water infrastructure, as well as improve some facilities.

“By taking a bold and aggressive approach to construction this year, we will ensure that the vital infrastructure that is used by millions of people in Toronto everyday will remain safe, in a state of good repair and as ready as possible for when the restart and recovery begins, hopefully not too long into the future,” Mayor John Tory said at a recent news conference.

Planned construction will make repairs to Toronto’s major and local roads, sidewalks and cycling infrastructure, improve public transit infrastructure, replace and rehabilitate watermains and sewers, and build and improve major water infrastructure that will help improve Toronto’s waterways and stormwater systems.

The city is working to accelerate as many projects as possible by alleviating restrictions on roads and intersections during peak and off-peak hours for construction projects and working with contractors on other means and methods to accelerate work and complete these projects within a fast-tracked schedule.

Some of the major projects that will be accelerated include:

  • Bathurst Street from Front Street West to Fort York Boulevard, bridge rehabilitation, TTC track rehabilitation resulting in full vehicular road closure, set to begin the week of May 17, 2020
  • Bathurst Street from Front Street West to Queen Street West, replacing a 143-year-old watermain
  • Church Street at Richmond Street East, replacing a 143-year-old watermain and TTC track requiring a full intersection closure
  • Don Mills Bridge over the Don Valley Parkway, bridge rehabilitation and
  • Completing the replacement of a 146-year-old watermain on Richmond Street from York Street to Bathurst Street

In addition, other projects the city will consider accelerating this spring through working with contractors and advancing the tender process include:

  • Midland Avenue from Danforth Road to Lawrence Avenue East, road reconstruction and water service replacement
  • Martingrove Road from Finch Avenue West to Albion Road, road resurfacing, sidewalk and curb construction
  • Shuter Street from Sherbourne Street to River Street, road reconstruction, sidewalk construction and upgrading cycling infrastructure
  • Bathurst Street from Front Street West to Queen Street West, replacing a 140-year-old watermain
  • Ossington Avenue from Dupont Street to Bloor Street West, replacing a 131-year-old watermain

The province of Ontario deemed municipal construction an essential service on Friday and crews can start work on more than 550 Toronto streets – including resurfacing of 147 local roads and upgrading sewers on about 100.

“Despite the current challenges we are facing with COVID-19, this is an unprecedented opportunity to accelerate as many of the City’s major planned construction projects as possible as we kick off our summer construction season,” Tory said.

Contractors were reminded to make “informed decisions” about the evolving nature of COVID-19 in an effort to keep their sites safe.

Information about the planned capital construction work is available at here.

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