TORONTO – Get ready for a long commute.
The harsh winter, the Pan Am Games, the Gardiner Expressway and a huge repair backlog will all combine to make the summer of 2014 a bad one for driving around Toronto.
Councillor Denzil Minnan-Wong announced the city’s road rehabilitation plans Monday, noting more than $215 million will be spent to repair roads across the city.
“[Repairing roads is] critical to the economic well-being of our city,” he said.
There are a number of large projects:
Markham Road between Kingston Road and Lawrence Avenue
Victoria Park Avenue between Eglinton Avenue and Lawrence Avenue
Wilson Avenue between Bathurst Street and Dufferin Avenue
Finch Avenue from Kipling Road to Highway 27
Kipling Avenue between Bloor Street and Dixon Road
In total, more than 185 kilometres of road resurfacing will be done.
But the city is taking steps to make the construction season a little more bearable for the average commuter.
“A key element of this is to coordinate our efforts with other agencies such as utility companies so that we can keep disruptions to a minimum,” he said.
Instead of doing road work, then having the road dug up weeks later for watermain repairs and then paved again, the city will do the watermain repairs first, then pave the road.
The city is also going to start rehabilitating the Gardiner Expressway. To do so, crews will be closing one lane both east and westbound from Humber Road to Bathurst Street until 2016.
“It’s is an essential piece of transportation infrastructure in our city and a critical component in the regions highway system,” Minnan-Wong said. “Traffic without any lanes closed is a challenge, especially during a peak period. Having that one lane closed is not going to make the matters any better.”
There will be a brief reprieve however as the city plans to pause construction during the Pan Am Games next year.
But the Pan Am Games has also forced the city to complete several projects this year rather than next year so they don’t interfere with the games.
There are also potholes. Minnan-Wong estimated there is twice as many potholes this year than last year.
“This has been particularly difficult; already we’ve repaired more than 120k potholes on our streets,” he said.
The city recently approved an additional $4 million in funding for pothole repair that is expected to continue through July.
Major gridlock expected as city outlines road reconstruction plan - Toronto | Globalnews.ca (external - login to view)