Toronto Taking Advantage of COVID Slowdown to Accelerate Construction Projects

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While Toronto residents remain inside to help ease the spread of the coronavirus, the City says it’s taking advantage of there being fewer vehicles on the road by ramping-up planned construction projects and maintenance throughout the city.

Traffic volumes on Toronto’s roads are down between 45 and 65% as a result of the pandemic and the City says it’s been presented with an “unprecedented opportunity” to begin accelerating projects which will work to renew Toronto’s ageing transportation and water infrastructure.

For the most part, the planned construction includes making repairs to Toronto’s major and local roads, sidewalks and cycling infrastructure, improve public transit infrastructure, replace and rehabilitate water mains and sewers, and build and improve major water infrastructure.

Some of the biggest projects include construction between Bathurst Street and Front Street West to Fort York Boulevard. That work is set to begin the week of May 17 and involves bridge rehabilitation and TTC track rehabilitation.

As well, the City says there are a number of water mains, all of which are more than 140 years old, that need to be replaced, including pipe underneath Bathurst Street from Front Street West to Queen Street West, Church Street at Richmond Street East, and Richmond Street from York Street to Bathurst Street.

Additionally, there will be bridge rehabilitation work done on the Don Mills Bridge over the Don Valley Parkway.

The City is also looking to accelerate the following projects this spring:

  • Midland Avenue from Danforth Road to Lawrence Avenue East: Road reconstruction and water service replacement.
  • Martingrove Road from Finch Avenue West to Albion Road: Road resurfacing, sidewalk and curb construction
  • Shuter Street from Sherbourne Street to River Street: Road reconstruction, sidewalk construction and upgrading cycling infrastructure.
  • Bathurst Street from Front Street West to Queen Street West: Replacing a 140-year-old water main and
  • Ossington Avenue from Dupont Street to Bloor Street West: Replacing a 131-year-old water main.

“This year’s construction season presents a rare opportunity to complete work in the city during a period when not many people are travelling on our roads,” said Councillor James Pasternak, York Centre (Ward 6) and Chair of the Infrastructure and Environment Committee.

“I recognize the disruption this may cause to those who are staying home but want to emphasize how important this work is to renew infrastructure that so many of Toronto’s residents and businesses rely on.”

Pasternak says the City will minimize the impact of construction as much as possible.

This year, the City expects to undertake construction on more than 550 streets across Toronto, including resurfacing 147 local roads, and upgrading sewers on more than 100 streets to protect basements from flooding.