Construction and disruption galore: Toronto plans another record summer of road, sewer and track repairs, promising the long-term gain will be worth it
March 31, 2021
Toronto will, for a second year in a row, spend more than $1 billion on roads, sewers, TTC tracks, bridges and other projects during the warm-weather construction season.
Mayor John Tory on Monday warned of commuter inconvenience in parts of the city but said eventual benefits will be worth it. The city is moving to do as much as possible while traffic levels remain below normal during the pandemic, he added.
The biggest project is a reconfiguration and rebuilding of the King Street West-Queen Street West-Roncesvalles Avenue intersection launching April 5 and not scheduled to be completely done until August 2022.
The irregular junction will be turned into a “normal four-leg intersection,” removing an eastbound right-turn channel in order to improve pedestrian access and visibility. Water and sewer lines there will be replaced, as well as streetcar track and overhead power wires.
The $446 million pegged for fixing and improving transportation infrastructure citywide is dwarfed by $616 million budgeted for water projects, including fixing and replacing water mains, sewer lines, basement flooding protects and stormwater mitigation efforts.
Michael D’Andrea, the city’s engineering and construction director, noted Toronto has ancient functioning water mains including one under Bathurst Street that is 146 years old and another under Bloor Street that is 145 years old.
“We have a few other mains that are well over 100 years old that are in the plans for replacement this year,” D’Andrea said.
Other big projects this season include: