It’s good news for the city but maybe bad news for Toronto drivers as Mayor John Tory announced the “biggest ever” plan for spring and summer construction.
“It has been said for a long time that Toronto really does have two seasons – winter and construction – and this year we seem to be having them at the same time because spring hasn’t really come yet but we’ve got to get on with the construction,” Tory said.
At a budget of over $1-billion, Tory said the infrastructure maintenance plan won’t only include roads but sidewalks, bridges, sewer and watermain maintenance, as well as the rebuild of the Gardiner Expressway.
“We just can’t afford to let our infrastructure continue to age and see it come under the increasing pressure that comes from growth without taking action, as we’re doing, to deal with that,” the mayor explained.
“The city’s transportation and water infrastructure are used every day by millions of Toronto residents, businesses and visitors and over time that use by all those people, increasing numbers of people, takes its toll.”
Here’s a breakdown of how that money will be spent:
- $590M to rehabilitate and improve transportation infrastructure – including $170M on reconstructing and resurfacing roads, $200M on maintaining expressways, including Gardiner rehabilitation work.
- $60M on constructing and improving sidewalks and cycling infrastructure.
- $45M on Vision Zero infrastructure and road safety plan.
- $115M on bridge rehabilitation – including four bridges over the Don Valley Parkway
- $480M for Toronto’s aging sewer and watermain infrastructure — some of the city’s working watermains are 140 years old and made of wood
“Whether you drive or walk or bike or take transit, everyone benefits from good, solid, well maintained infrastructure,” Tory explained.
“The projects that we have underway across the city and that will proceed over the course of the summer and fall will ultimately make life better no matter how you get around the city of Toronto.”
Tory says 63 of the projects will be carried out on extended hours or on a 24 hour schedule to get the work completed as soon as possible to minimize the effects construction has on those who live in the surrounding neighbourhoods.
The construction plan will include 50 major road restrictions, 27 moderate road restrictions and 51 minor road restrictions.
Here’s a list of some of the major projects:
- Kipling Avenue, Bloor Street West and Dundas Street West, Six Points Interchange Reconfiguration;
- Four bridges over the Don Valley Parkway, rehabilitation of Don Mills Road, Spanbridge Road, Wynford Drive and Lawrence Avenue bridges;
- Gardiner Expressway Strategic Rehabilitation from Jarvis Street to Cherry Street, first phase;
- Bloor Street West from Bathurst Street to Spadina Avenue, watermain replacement, streetscaping, bike lane construction and road resurfacing;
- Richmond Street from York Street to Bathurst Street, watermain replacement;
- Jarvis Street from Dundas Street to Queen Street, road resurfacing (resuming from 2018);
- Don and Central Waterfront, first phase, Coxwell Bypass Tunnel boring;
- Queen Street East and Eastern Avenue, TTC track replacement;
- Birchmount Road from Eglinton Avenue East to Lawrence Avenue East, road resurfacing;
- Midland Avenue from Danforth Avenue to Lawrence Avenue East, road reconstruction;
- Old Weston Road from St. Clair Avenue West to Rowntree Avenue, road resurfacing;
- Royal York from Dixon Road to Summitcrest Drive, road resurfacing;
- York Mills Road from Leslie Street to Don Mills Road, road resurfacing;
- Willowdale Avenue from Empress Avenue to Finch Avenue, road resurfacing and bike lane installation; and
- Bayview Avenue over the west Don River, bridge repairs.
One of the first major disruptions for drivers will be the complete closure of the Don Valley Parkway on the weekend of May 25 for spring maintenance.
Click HERE for an interactive map of all Toronto construction projects.