Toronto Subway Trail Work Delayed Indefinitely Due to Design Flaws

Kite flyers, cyclists and hikers could face further delays in crossing Metrolinx’s Transit Museum Trail after a project to install rail siding in 2012 ran out of money. Workers were supposed to complete the…

Toronto Subway Trail Work Delayed Indefinitely Due to Design Flaws

Kite flyers, cyclists and hikers could face further delays in crossing Metrolinx’s Transit Museum Trail after a project to install rail siding in 2012 ran out of money. Workers were supposed to complete the overhaul to Highway 401 by late summer 2015, but the project isn’t running on schedule and Metrolinx says it could be at least another year before the work is completed.

The project — overseen by Transport Canada, which owns the former pedestrian overpass as a heritage site — was supposed to cost $190 million and take four years to complete. However, the opening was delayed when the board of the agency — which oversees transportation in Toronto and the surrounding area — was found to have conflicts of interest and other concerns in the construction process.

“This trail remains a priority for our transit network, and Metrolinx will not be compromising safety or satisfaction of our customers,” added Metrolinx on its website. “As previously announced, the project is now moving towards a successful completion and, as it does, we will provide regular updates on our activities, including the trail.”

A Metrolinx spokesperson told The Globe and Mail that the project began to look like it would be complete by late 2018 and pointed out that a recent report from the agency said the work is ahead of schedule.

A spokesperson for Transport Canada said that the project still had “unidentified” areas requiring further tests and mitigation as it requires to meet Canadian Environmental Assessment Act requirements. “This phase of the project will ensure that proper ecological assessments have been made for sensitive areas and will avoid temporary, temporary work,” they said.

The property connects to dozens of trails, including Via Rail trains and sidewalks across southern Ontario, according to CTV. The three-year closure will cause some obvious stress for hikers, with some saying they would be forced to take a bus along Highway 401 to complete their routes. Local shopkeepers are also concerned about the lack of foot traffic on some of their busiest weekends.

The newspaper’s Toronto Bureau Chief, Eleanor Nichols, spoke with employees at the nearby Ruby Cafe, who said that the closure will have an effect on business and that some customers were already unsure as to whether they would want to visit the Trail or continue to bike across the aging bridge. The closure, too, creates a new speed limit of 50 km/h on Highway 401.

Read the full story at CTV News.

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