The Eglinton LRT is delayed again, Metrolinx said RS News

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The much-delayed Eglinton Crosstown LRT has been delayed again.

In a statement on Friday, the president and CEO of Metrolinx, the Ontario Crown corporation that oversees the project, said he had expected that the pedestrian walkway that has plagued Eglinton Avenue and been under construction for more than a decade would be completed this fall, but the company in charge of building it had fallen through.

“Unfortunately, although progress has been made, Crosslinx Transit Solutions has fallen behind, unable to complete construction and testing, so the plan will not be operational on this timeline,” said CEO Phil Verster.

Verster did not say what the new timeline for the project’s completion is.

Crosslinx did not immediately respond to the Sun’s request for comment.

The LRT has been under construction since 2011 and was originally slated for completion in 2020, but the timeline for the 19-kilometer transit line has been pushed back several times.

Verster said Metrolinx understands that “construction has been difficult for commuters, communities and businesses along the Eglinton tunnel.”

“We are doing our best to hold Crosslinx Transit Solutions accountable and redouble our efforts to meet their obligations and complete the work as quickly as possible so we can welcome riders to a complete, tested and fully operational Eglinton Crosstown LRT as soon as possible.”

Crosslinx is a construction company formed by transportation companies ACS-Dragados, Aecon, EllisDon and SNC-Lavalin.

The relationship between Metrolinx and Crosslinx has been rocky for several years. In 2018, the state transit agency paid Crosslinx $237 million to continue operations. But in February 2020, Metrolinx blamed a day of LRT delays on Crosslinx’s failure to meet construction targets, as well as defects in old infrastructure under the TTC Eglinton station.

In December 2021, Metrolinx, Infrastructure Ontario and Crosslinx reached a new agreement on the cost and timeline of the 19-kilometre transit line after a legal dispute over who should cover the additional costs of LRT construction imposed by the pandemic.

In the end, the Ontario Superior Court Justice ruled in favor of Crosslinx, and the province had to pay Crosslinx $325 million for the $5.5 billion transit plan. At the time, Metrolinx said the transit line would be completed by September 2022, and ready for operation in 2023.

With files from Ben Spurr

Lex Harvey is a Toronto-based transportation reporter for the Star. Follow him on Twitter: @lexharvs

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