Underground project will cut travel times and create jobs
Premier Kathleen Wynne was at the groundbreaking on Thursday – June 30 – morning for the latest milestone in the construction of the Eglinton Crosstown Light Rail Transit line, the largest transit project under construction in Canada.
( Laird Station will be an underground station located at the intersection of Laird Drive and Eglinton Avenue East. The station will also be a turnback station and will have special trackwork for LRT operations. A turnback station allows trains to change directions. The special track work allows a train to be stored between the tracks. For example, a disabled train could be stored there so it does not disrupt service.)
Work is beginning on Laird Station, located near the midpoint of the 19-kilometre Light Rail Transit (LRT) line. Construction began in March on Keelesdale, the first underground station. By the end of the summer, more than half of the underground stations on the 25-station line will be under construction.
Wynne said: “By investing in transit, we are keeping people moving, connecting communities and improving quality of life. We are making real progress on the Eglinton Crosstown LTR — part of our record investment in infrastructure that is creating jobs, strengthening our economy and building a strong and sustainable future for Ontario.”
Ontario has invested $5.3 billion toward the capital costs of the LRT line. New, modern light rail vehicles on tracks separated from regular traffic will offer fast, efficient service and improve travel for people along the busy Eglinton corridor. The Eglinton Crosstown will also help lower greenhouse gas pollution, improving air quality and fighting climate change.
Bruce McCuaig, President and CEO, Metrolinx, said: “Station construction is the most exciting phase of the Eglinton Crosstown LRT project, as the project progresses more actively above ground along the corridor. However, we know that this phase can also be more disruptive for drivers, pedestrians, transit users and neighbours. Metrolinx is working closely with its contractor and local stakeholders to deliver this key transit project that will expand and improve transit connections and transform the way Toronto and the region moves.”
Ontario is making the largest investment in public infrastructure in the province’s history — about $160 billion over 12 years, which is supporting 110,000 jobs every year across the province, with projects such as roads, bridges, transit systems, schools and hospitals. In 2015, the province announced support for more than 325 projects that will keep people and goods moving, connect communities and improve quality of life, the government said in a statement.
- The Eglinton Crosstown LRT is expected to begin service in 2021.
- By 2031, it is expected to carry about 5,500 passengers per hour during peak travel times and have an annual ridership of about 50 million.
- As well as 25 new stations and stops, the LRT line will also link to 54 bus routes, three TTC interchange subway stations and GO Transit. It will help move people across the city more quickly, reliably and conveniently, with service operating up to 60 percent faster than the existing bus service on Eglinton Avenue.
- At the peak of construction, about 2,500 workers will work on the project, and 90 per cent of the labour will come from the Greater Toronto Area.
- Research shows that every $100 million of public infrastructure investment in Ontario boosts GDP by $114 million, particularly in the construction and manufacturing sectors. – CINEWS