The Spadina Subway Extension is behind schedule—but at least it’s actually being built

The Spadina Subway Extension is behind schedule—but at least it’s actually being built

A rendering of the future Pioneer Village station, made before its name was changed from "Steeles West station." (Image: Courtesy TTC) A rendering of the future Pioneer Village station, made before its name was changed from “Steeles West Station.” (Image: Courtesy TTC)
 

Here’s a phrase you never want to hear from TTC CEO Andy Byford: “The project is facing a serious schedule challenge.”

Byford, known for his level-headedness and his willingness to admit his agency’s mistakes, wrote those words in December’s edition of his monthly report to the TTC board. He was talking about the Spadina Subway Extension, a tunnelling project that will extend the Spadina subway line to Vaughan Metropolitan Centre, adding six new stations in the process. It’s scheduled to open in fall 2016.

The problem, according to Byford, isn’t with the tunnels themselves, but rather with some of the contractors that are building the new stations. New subway stops at York University and Downsview Park are somewhat behind schedule, but construction at the new Pioneer Village station seems to be progressing at a disastrously sluggish pace. Byford writes: “Efforts to improve the performance of the [Pioneer Village] contractor have become intense.”

The Star reports that the Pioneer Village contractor is Walsh Construction, and that the station, which should be 70 per cent complete by now, is closer to 30 per cent. It’s tempting to pour scorn on the TTC for the apparent screw-up, but considering the state of subway construction elsewhere in Toronto, we’re just grateful something is actually being built.