On Oct. 4, a breaking news story suggested that behind closed doors the big wigs at Ontario’s Metrolinx are 90 per cent sure that the Crosstown LRT will open in December 2024. Publicly, the agency is still in full noncommittal mode.
Journalist Sabrina Nanji of Queen’s Park Observer broke the story yesterday on Moore In The Morning radio saying Metrolinx is “90 percent sure the likely in-service date for the Eglinton crosstown LRT is by the end of 2024, they’ve also said December Q4,” she said, adding.” It will be Toronto’s Christmas gift next year.”
Of course, when contacted to confirm the date suggested by Nanji, Metrolinx was, let’s say cagey.
“Thanks for reaching out on this one,” a Metrolinx spokesperson wrote via email. “As noted in last week’s progress update, CTS has made progress on the Eglinton Crosstown LRT but unpredictable technical issues affect the opening date significantly. There are still many risks in the project schedule that prevent us from being able to give a confirmed opening date; however, we intend to do regular technical reviews and will update the public more as the projects progresses towards completion and service.”
Pressing Metrolinx to respond specifically to Nanji’s breaking story didn’t help.
“As noted in our statement, there are still many risks in the project schedule that prevent us from being able to give a confirmed opening date,” read the response.
The construction of the LRT commenced in 2011 with an anticipated completion date of 2020. Nevertheless, a series of obstacles, such as the identification of a concrete flaw and an ongoing legal dispute between Metrolinx and contractor Crosslinx Transit Solutions, have resulted in persistent setbacks and complications.
In 2018, the project’s budget stood at $11.78 billion, encompassing the costs of design, construction, financing, and a 30-year maintenance plan for the light rail transit (LRT) system. Presently, that figure has surged to $12.81 billion.