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City outlines $155M in summer road construction projects

File photo of summer road construction in Toronto. CITYNEWS

Some notoriously rough patches on Toronto’s busiest routes will be smoothed over this summer in construction work that will likely frustrate drivers.

The mayor and the head of public works unveiled on Tuesday the city’s top priorities for resurfacing and repair roads that will cost $155 million this year — cash Rob Ford described as “smart spending” — to conduct resurfacing and reconstruction on the following areas:

•    Kingston Road from Queen Street to Birchmount Road
•    Albion Road from Steeles Avenue to Highway 27
•    Keele Street from Falstaff Avenue to Arrowsmith Avenue
•    Leslie Street from York Mills Road to Lawrence Avenue and from Steeles to Finch Avenue
•    Wilson Avenue from Allard Avenue to Avenue Road
•    Kennedy Road from Passmore Avenue to Finch Avenue East
•    Lawrence Avenue East from McCowan Road to Markham Road
•    Bloor Street West from Lansdowne Avenue to Bathurst Street
•    Dufferin Street from Peel Avenue to Dundas Street
•    Davenport Road from McAlpine Street to Yonge Street
•    Bay Street from Davenport Road to Bloor Street West
•    Yorkville Avenue from Bay Street to Yonge

“In all, we’re going to resurface over 100 kilometres of roads,” Ford said.

“This is phenomenal.”

An additional $60 million will be spent on other work, including road work in conjunction with watermain and sewer replacement.

When asked about what should be done to the Gardiner Expressway, Ford said: “I’ve always been in favour of keeping the Gardiner,” noting he doesn’t believe in implementing new taxes or revenue tools to pay for infrastructure improvements.

The city is spending $17 million on safety repairs to the highway this year. Council approved $500 million in maintenance work for the Gardiner in its 10-year capital spending plan.

Public works chair Denzil Minnan-Wong said this year’s investment in state of good repair work marks an increase in spending. Spending on annual road repairs usually tops out around $140 million, he said. The city has earmarked $660 million for major road repair over the next 10 years, he said.

While much needed, this summer’s projects are a drop in the bucket — the city is dealing with a staggering $750-million backlog on capital road repairs and an additional $1.6-billion backlog on water infrastructure upgrades.

As part of the 2013 capital budget plan, council approved an extra $30 million in annual funding, starting next year, to resurface major roads. That work will be done in conjunction with other utilities to minimize disruptions.

Aside from major roadwork, city crews filled approximately 200,000 potholes during a blitz last month.

Will you be affected by this summer’s roadwork? Will the inconvenience be worth a smoother drive? Let us know in the comments below.