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Tory pushes up deadline on current phase of Gardiner Expressway construction

Gardiner construction sign KEVIN MISENER/680NEWS

The current phase of construction on the Gardiner Expressway will finish in May, two months ahead of schedule at a cost of up to $2-million, Toronto Mayor John Tory announced on Thursday.

Tory said additional crews and equipment will be dispatched to speed up the job, originally scheduled to last 16 months.

He called the extra expense “a very sound investment” to relieve drivers.

According to the city, the construction project costs $1 million a day in lost productivity and lost business interest.

“It’s a relatively small price to pay to allow drivers to have relief from commutes that are sometimes 30 minutes longer,” Tory said.

As he did during the campaign, Tory has spent the early days of his mayoralty focusing on traffic and transit issues.

In recent weeks Tory has announced stricter penalties for blocking rush-hour traffic, all-door boarding on the King streetcar, and secure funding for Toronto’s bike share program.

Thursday’s announcement focused on construction’s contribution to the gridlock that is “strangling” Toronto, Tory said. “We need to do better.”

“I wish I could tell you that there will never be construction on the Gardiner but I can’t. Like me, the Gardiner is over 60 years old,” Tory said.

The current phase of construction is part of a 13-year plan approved last year that will see portions of the freeway closed over the next decade.

Phases for Gardiner Expressway construction. HANDOUT/City of Toronto
Phases for Gardiner Expressway construction. HANDOUT/City of Toronto

Mobile users click here to see a map of the projects by phase.

Tory hopes the next phases can be expedited as well.

“It’s my job to be a nuisance in a positive sort of way,” Tory said.