New Burlington GO station delayed another year
A partial opening is expected in the fall but it will be 2016 before the delayed project is complete, says Metrolinx.
July 8, 2015
By Tess Kalinowski
For the third time, Metrolinx is pushing back the scheduled completion of the new $13.8-million Burlington GO station and bus loop.
The new station building - originally to be completed in spring 2014, then delayed until spring 2015 - is now on track to be finished sometime next year, said a spokeswoman for the provincial agency in charge of GO Transit.
Although there are scant signs of progress from outside, there is work going on inside the building, said Anne Marie Aikins.
It will be mostly functioning by the fall when a partial opening is expected. At that point a new west tunnel and washrooms should be installed, allowing builder Bondfield Construction to close the south access to the east tunnel so crews can demolish the existing station building.
Metrolinx says many of its projects have been delayed by two harsh winters. But it has also cited issues with Bondfield. The construction company is facing fines for the schedule overruns on its projects but its payment “is non-negotiable,” said Aikins.
“It would take longer and cost more to change contracts at this point. Once you get a new contractor, they have to get on board, get up to speed. No doubt it would cost you more money than if you continued with the original builder,” she said.
Aikins said she understands that the 7,300 daily users of the Burlington station might be skeptical about the latest revised completion date. “It’s very difficult to believe a schedule once the schedule hasn’t been met a number of times,” said Aikins.
Construction on the new station began in fall 2012. Commuter Jonathan Poyner says he is frustrated by the wait.
“Connecting GO and Burlington transit buses were all relocated from the south parking lot to the north (of the tracks) lot when construction started. This requires a significant detour through traffic exiting the station down a long two-lane road. This added about 10 minutes to every trip, depending on traffic,” he said.
A six-week elevator technicians’ strike two years ago is being blamed for the remaining delays on another Bondfield contract, the still-incomplete $42-million Clarkson GO station parking deck.
The five parking levels are now open. But the three elevators and one of the stairwells to the top level won’t be complete until late summer. The Clarkson garage was supposed to be completed in late 2013.
“The projects are a priority for our senior management, and they are very eager to get these done,” said Aikins.
But the disruption isn’t over for Clarkson GO riders even after the parking deck is complete. The north parking lot is being resurfaced in a new $4-million contract with Clearway Construction. About 450 parking spots are being repaired and another 25 spaces added. GO is also building a covered pedestrian bridge over Sheridan Creek to connect the north parking to the central tunnel and train platforms. That work is supposed to be complete by 2016.