Toronto's 12-mile Eglinton Avenue Crosstown LRT project is in danger of not opening until seven months past the announced date (Sept. 30, 2021), and is exceeding its budget by more than C$330 million.
Metrolinx, the provincial transit agency for the GTHA (Greater Toronto Hamilton Area), has projected the total cost to be C$12.58 billion; the current approved budget is C$12.24 billion. This amount includes operation and maintenance for 30 years of the completed line; actual construction costs are an estimated C$5.3 billion. This is largely due to the fact that about three quarters of the line is underground, with the balance being a surface alignment. The Crosslinx Transit Solutions consortium is constructing the project.
The causes for the delay include work related to passing beneath a Canadian Pacific line at the LRT’s Mount Dennis western terminal; the discovery of groundwater at the site of the Avenue underground station; and unanticipated work needed to remedy defects in caissons at Eglinton Station. This is where the LRT passes beneath the existing TTC Yonge subway, opened in 1954; the caissons date from that time, and require replacement.
There have also been concerns about Bombardier falling behind schedule in the delivery of the 76 Flexity Freedom cars on order, costing $392 million. The cars need to be on the property well before opening day, in order that software development work related to signaling and train control systems may be performed.
Metrolinx describes the Crosstown as the largest transit project in Canada presently under construction. Work began in 2011.