Metrolinx President and CEO Phil Verster issued a statement late last week confirming the 19-kilometer (11.8-mile) Eglinton Crosstown Light Rail Transit (LRT) project will not be completed by the fall of 2022.
The line, which has been under construction since 2011 and heavy construction since 2016, promises crosstown travel times that are up to 60 percent faster than previous options once the line is in service.
According to Verster, Crosslinx Transit Solutions, the consortium tasked with constructing, delivering and maintaining the Eglinton Crosstown LRT, has fallen behind schedule. No reason was provided for why the consortium was behind schedule and no timeline was provided as to when the line would be completed and in service.
“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,” said Verster. “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.”
In December 2021, Metrolinx and Crosslinx Transit Solutions reached a C$325 million (US$253.77 million) settlement that called for Crosslinx Transit Solutions bringing the project to substantial completion by September 2022. At the time of the settlement, a joint statement from Verster and Infrastructure Ontario President and CEO Michael Lindsay noted the impacts of COVID-19, an existing structural defect at the Eglinton Line 1 Station and numerous technical claims as reasons for the delay.
Progress has been made on the line since the agreement, with full-length vehicles being tested along the Eglinton Crosstown route this July and construction continuing at various stations. Metrolinx and Verster say they recognize the long construction process has been difficult on the communities along the corridor.
“We know construction has been difficult for commuters, communities and businesses along the Eglinton corridor,” said Verster. “We are doing everything to hold Crosslinx Transit Solutions accountable and to redouble efforts to meet their commitments and complete the work quickly so we can welcome riders onto a complete, tested and fully operational Eglinton Crosstown LRT as soon as possible.”