Toronto kicks off billion-dollar construction season

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Ontario Construction News staff writer

Toronto’s 2021 construction season was launched on March 29, with more than $1 billion in work planned for roads, bridges, expressways, TTC tracks, sewers and watermains.

Approximately $446 million will be spent on rehabilitating and improving transportation infrastructure including:

  • $140 million on bridges, culverts and other transportation infrastructure in the municipal right-of-way;
  • $64 million on sidewalks and cycling infrastructure, Vision Zero infrastructure and the Road Safety Plan;
  • $88 million on expressways including the F.G. Gardiner Strategic Rehabilitation;
  • $82 million on major roads; and
  • $72 million local roads.
  • ©CAN STOCK PHOTO/UNKAS-PHOTO
    ©CAN STOCK PHOTO/UNKAS-PHOTO

As well, approximately $616 million will spent on water infrastructure including:

  • $240 million on watermains, transmission watermains and water services;
  • $98 million on sewers and forcemains;
  • $150 million on basement flooding protection; and
  • $128 million on storm water management projects including the Don River and Central Waterfront.

Last year, the city completed $1.080 billion in construction related to water and transportation infrastructure. City-led construction is considered an essential service by the Province of Ontario and is necessary municipal work to ensure Toronto’s infrastructure remains safe, in a state of good repair and able to meet Toronto’s needs now and in the future.

“Municipal construction and the work we’re doing to improve our infrastructure will help fuel our recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic and keep the foundations of this city in a state of good repair, especially when the economy begins to open,” said Mayor John Tory.

“As we continue the vaccine rollout in Toronto, the need to renew the City’s aging water and transportation infrastructure, which millions of residents rely on every year, is stronger than ever. We need to ensure our roads, sidewalks, bridges, expressways, watermains, TTC tracks, storm and sanitary sewers meet the needs of increased activity and can keep up with the city’s growth now and in the future.”

Major projects planned for 2021 include:

  • King-Queen-Queensway-Roncesvalles intersection reconfiguration and infrastructure improvements;
  • Queen Street West from Fennings Street to Bay Street, watermain and TTC track replacement in addition to streetscaping work;
  • Broadview Avenue between Gerrard Street East and Danforth Avenue, watermain replacement;
  • Lower Jarvis Street from Queens Quay East to The Esplanade, watermain and sewer replacement;
  • Bathurst Street between Ranee Avenue and Lawrence Avenue West, watermain replacement and road resurfacing, in addition to geometric safety improvements on Bathurst Street at Brooke Avenue and Prince Charles Drive;
  • Bloor Street West between Spadina Avenue and Avenue Road, watermain replacement;
  • Twenty Ninth Street and Lake Shore Boulevard West from Twenty Fourth Street to west of Thirty Second Street, watermain replacement;
  • Kingston Road from Deep Dane Drive to Centennial Road North, road and sidewalk reconstruction;
  • Tapscott Road from Hydro right-of-way to McLevin Avenue, road resurfacing;
  • Midland Road from Hydro right-of-way to Sheppard Avenue East, road resurfacing and watermain replacement;
  • Wellington Street from Yonge Street to Church Street and Church Street between King Street East and Wellington Street; TTC track replacement, geometric safety improvements and streetscaping; and
  • Weston Road from Lawrence Avenue West to Humberview Crescent, road resurfacing and construction in addition to streetscaping work.

The City takes an active approach to coordinating construction to reduce prolonged disruption to local residents and the travelling public. Where possible, staff consider all the potential construction needs of a particular area and liaise with outside agencies such as the TTC, Toronto Hydro and utility companies to coordinate their construction needs and plan how to complete the work together in stages or at the same time.

The annual weekend maintenance closure of the Gardiner Expressway is expected to take place from 11 p.m. on June 25 until 5 a.m. on June 28, closing the entire expressway from Highway 427 to the Don Valley Parkway.

The annual weekend maintenance closure of the Don Valley Parkway is expected to take place from 11 p.m. on August 6 until 5 a.m. August 9. In order to keep the rapidly growing cycling network safe, the City will undertake a new bikeway maintenance pilot this summer. Existing City crews will be deployed for frequent and dedicated inspection, maintenance and localized repairs on Toronto’s bike infrastructure.

“With fewer commuters travelling on our streets due to the pandemic, now is the perfect time for the City to accelerate needed road construction and repair,” said Councillor Jennifer McKelvie.

“I want to remind all road users travelling through construction zones to please obey signs and reduce speed limits for the safety of the travelling public and construction crews working on-site. to best navigate construction, please be patient and plan your travel in advance. These infrastructure projects will help keep Toronto working and support our economic recovery.”

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