Completing the Eglinton Crosstown LRT has now become a legal fight

May 22, 2023
Metrolinx calls the court filing by Crosslinx Transit Solutions a delay tactic, while Crosslinx Transit Solutions says the step was needed to clear barriers to complete the project.

Crosslinx Transit Solutions (CTS), a consortium of ACS-Dragos, Aecon, EllisDon and SNC-Lavalin, tasked with construction of the 19-kilometer (11.8-mile) Eglinton Crosstown Light Rail Transit project, filed a Notice of Application with the Ontario Superior Court of Justice last week against Metrolinx and Infrastructure Ontario. CTS is accusing the Infrastructure Ontario and Metrolinx of failing to secure an operating agreement with Toronto Transit Commission (TTC) for the Eglinton Crosstown LRT project, which was planned to open as TTC Line 5.

CTS says construction on the project is 98 percent complete with testing, training and commissioning underway. The consortium says requests made by TTC “go beyond CTS’s contractual responsibilities”, and Metrolinx has not managed or taken ownership of late-stage changes requested by TTC.

In a statement, CTS said, “The has resulted in delays to the project outside our control and significant costs overruns which CTS has continued to incur.”

CTS explains work continues on the project, but it has asked the court to find the consortium is not obligated to continue to work on the project while Metrolinx and TTC work to resolve the situation. CTS claims “shifting standards, requirements and goalposts” have made “it not tenable for CTS to continue working.”

CTS pushed back on claims its move was a delay tactic, saying the legal filing was intended to “remove existing barriers to completion.”

Metrolinx: CTS’s delays are for CTS to bear

Metrolinx President and CEO Phil Verster called the move “disappointing” and noted the Toronto community’s patience waiting for a project has already faced significant delays. He says CTS should focus its efforts on “submitting a credible schedule” to complete the project.

“Metrolinx and the TTC have been working collaboratively for years to get the Eglinton Crosstown LRT ready for customer service but now require a schedule that describes how they will complete the testing, commissioning, safety and quality rectifications of the rail line,” Verster said. “Metrolinx will defend this latest legal challenge by CTS as we have done several times before. The cost of CTS’s delays are for CTS to bear. Metrolinx is already withholding significant payments for poor performance. We will continue to hold CTS to account and examine every remedy under the project agreement to ensure the project is delivered to a high quality and that it is safe and reliable to open.”

About the Author

Mischa Wanek-Libman | Editor in Chief

Mischa Wanek-Libman serves as editor in chief of Mass Transit magazine. She is responsible for developing and maintaining the magazine’s editorial direction and is based in the western suburbs of Chicago.

Wanek-Libman has spent more than 20 years covering transportation issues including construction projects and engineering challenges for various commuter railroads and transit agencies. She has been recognized for editorial excellence through her individual work, as well as for collaborative content. 

She is an active member of the American Public Transportation Association's Marketing and Communications Committee and serves as a Board Observer on the National Railroad Construction and Maintenance Association (NRC) Board of Directors.  

She is a graduate of Drake University, where she earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in Journalism and Mass Communication with a major in magazine journalism and a minor in business management.