Eglinton Crosstown LRT likely won't open until 2023

Dec 22 2021, 9:36 pm

After an inkling of a possible delay, a 2023 opening of the Eglinton Crosstown LRT is seeming more and more likely.

The Eglinton Crosstown is now on track to be “substantially complete” by the end of September 2022 with an opening date for passengers potentially coming “several months later,” Metrolinx CEO Phil Verster and Infrastructure Ontario CEO Michael Lindsay said in a joint statement on Wednesday.

The crosstown line was previously scheduled to open in 2022 — a date that had already been pushed from the originally scheduled 2020.

Wednesday’s update comes as Metrolinx reached a $325 million settlement with contractor Crosslinx Transit Solutions (CTS) following a months-long legal battle that resulted in construction delays. In May, the Ontario Superior Court sided with Crosslinx’s argument that the pandemic constituted an emergency and would permit the two parties to renegotiate terms of their agreement, including the opening date.

“Under the settlement agreement, CTS has committed to substantially complete the project’s construction and systems scope by the end of September 2022,” the statement reads. “The in-service date for passenger revenue services may be several months later and Metrolinx and TTC will continue to track CTS’s performance during 2022 to determine when the Eglinton Crosstown Line will open for passengers.”

In November, Metrolinx confirmed that train testing along the Eglinton Crosstown tracks would continue into 2022, leaving open the possibility of a 2023 opening.

Tracks are fully installed and trains are now being tested along the entire 19-km route,” Metrolinx told Daily Hive. “Crews will be able to test the trains continuously from end to end in 2022. Also in the next year, installation of the overhead catenary system (the wires that power the trains), train signals, communications systems and other features to enable safe train movement will continue.”

An official opening date for the Eglinton Crosstown won’t be provided until “a period of operational readiness,” done in collaboration with the project’s contractor, Crosslinx Transit Solutions, and the TTC, has been completed, Metrolinx said.

Laura HanrahanLaura Hanrahan

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