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Gardiner construction will be finished earlier than expected: Tory

Last Updated Sep 28, 2015 at 8:12 pm EDT

Construction on the Gardiner Expressway will be finished earlier than expected but it will cost more than planned, Toronto Mayor John Tory said Monday.

Tory spoke to reporters on the expressway between Spadina and Jameson avenues, where traffic is down to two lanes from three.

“We were looking at a deadline of October 2016, we’re now looking at getting it done up to three months sooner,” Tory said.

The new summer deadline is expected to cost $3.4 million more than the initial budget of $66.5 million, and will now cost $69.9 million. The funding was approved by the Public Works and Infrastructure Committee last week.

“It is a small price to pay,” Tory said, adding that having the stretch between Spadina and Jameson reduced by a third is costing the city $1 million a day. To finish 90 days earlier, he said, just makes financial sense.

“It is common sense to say you make the investment and you get the job done faster, so that people can do business, productivity can be restored, and we don’t have this huge cost to the economy.”

It’s the second time Tory has approved increased funding to speed up Gardiner construction. Earlier this year, the stretch of the expressway between Exhibition Place and Grand Magazine Street opened earlier than expected after a $2 million influx.