The Gardiner Expressway will be fully re-opened to traffic on June 25, it was announced on Wednesady. The second phase of the road rehabilitation work, from Strachan Avenue to Bathurst Street, is almost complete and the road will be re-open four months ahead of schedule.
Mayor John Tory announced last year that the expressway would open up to three months early thanks to an accelerated work schedule negotiated by the City and the contractor. It is now expected that the roadway will be fully re-opened sooner than originally anticipated, exact date dependent on weather.
“Traffic and congestion remain a top priority for Toronto residents. Just in time for the busy summer season, we are able to open the Gardiner four months ahead of schedule by extending work hours and increasing crews and equipment,” said Mayor Tory. “Where the investment in speeding up a road construction project makes sense, we will find a way to make it happen because we need to get this city moving.”
“The Gardiner is a critical artery in our road network in need of extensive repairs, but we can find ways speed up the work so residents and businesses can get around our city,” said Councillor Jaye Robinson (Ward 25 Don Valley West), Chair of the Public Works and Infrastructure Committee. “We know construction costs commuters both time and money. This will help people get to work on time and get home to their families sooner.”
The final top asphalt surface of the expressway has not yet been placed so speed restrictions of 70 kilometres an hour will be in place between Bathurst Street and Strachan Avenue. The asphalt work will be completed during the full weekend closure of the expressway in the fall.
The City negotiated an accelerated schedule with the contractor to complete this work early. The $3.4-million cost associated with the acceleration was used for additional crews, materials and equipment.
Currently, the City of Toronto has estimated that the cost of construction on the Gardiner Expressway results in about $1 million a day in lost productivity for commuters using the road as a result of increased travel time tied to lane closures related to construction. While the work on the expressway is complete, construction activities under the roadway such as the coating of the steel structures, repair of the substructure (bents) and the installation of drainage systems will continue until October.
This construction project is part of the City’s comprehensive, co-ordinated strategy to rehabilitate and upgrade Toronto’s roads, transit and underground infrastructure for current and future needs. – CINEWS