Cost of digging a tunnel for the Eglinton crosstown could pose a problem for Rob Ford’s transit plan
From annals of things that shouldn’t be surprising but somehow are at city hall: digging a tunnel for the Eglinton LRT—one that passes under the Don River—might be complicated and expensive (also, the dirt dug up needs to be disposed of properly, not just dumped inside an unused library or something). The Globe and Mail reports that the cost of the Eglinton crosstown LRT has jumped from $4.6 billion to $8.2 billion due to Mayor Rob Ford’s insistence that the line be built entirely underground.
The Globe has the story:
Under the Transit City strategy, the LRT was to emerge from a tunnel east of Laird and continue eastward on a right-of-way in the middle of Eglinton. But because of Mr. Ford’s changes, Metrolinx officials have spent months grappling with the question of how to get the Crosstown line across the Don Valley.
A tunnel may prove to be too deep and too steep for light rail vehicles, so Bruce McCuaig, president and CEO of Metrolinx, said the agency is looking at building a grade-separated bridge for the LRT as it crosses the ravines. Public consultations on an environmental assessment examining a bridge and other tunnel configurations will begin in early 2012.
Naturally, councillors are already questioning both alternatives (Transit City supporter Gord Perks even asked, “Why don’t they just go back to the original idea? They can’t get it under the Don.”) So, it appears that Ford has once again placed political ammo squarely in his opponents’ laps—and that’s without even considering the implications for the mayor’s beloved Sheppard subway.
Of course, what’s more interesting is that it appears Ford never seriously considered the possibility that tunnelling underground might be prohibitively expensive. Also, the Globe says disposing of soil is complicated and subject to regulations—and we all know how Ford feels about regulations, which might in part explain how Ford found himself in this mess in the first place. He was unwilling to compromise, insisting that his way was the only way. That his way could prove to be disastrous will certainly not be lost on his opponents, who could seize on this opportunity to block Ford’s revised plan in council next year.
• Tunnel plan for Eglinton Crosstown LRT could stymie Ford [Globe and Mail]
7 thoughts on “Cost of digging a tunnel for the Eglinton crosstown could pose a problem for Rob Ford’s transit plan”
Is there any reasonable, legal way to get Transit City back? MUCH cheaper, more far-reaching and we won’t have this huge price tag, fees for canceling pre-existing contracts etc. Any hope? What can we do??? Suggestions guys? I’ve already contacted my councilor…
My councilor’s office advised me to write to the Premier as ultimately he has the power to override the mayor (with council’s help). I have emailed him and every MPP who has anything to do with municipal affairs or transportation, as well as my own MPP. Please, please write letters guys!!!
An LRT above-ground would prove to be just as useless as the current one from the Scarborough Town Centre … it won’t work in snowy or icy weather. Nevermind the total chaos it would cause for already congested traffic on Eglinton Avenue East, which actually used to be a reasonable commute until the forced bus lanes cutting it down from three lanes to two during morning and afternoon. Underground — a subway — it what is needed, and what would actually be used well into the future.
Crossing the Don River is a bit of a no-brainer – whether or not the line is surface or underground. Look at the subway – crossing the Bloor Viaduct. Subways go above ground where it makes logical sense and it is makes no sense to tunnel UNDER the Don.
I wouldnt be surprised if they end the LRT line at Don Mills, they should go back to transit city plan
Michelle and Gajan are trolling. Ignore them.
What’s forgotten in all this is that Ford’s transit plan, as expensive as it may be, is actually RPAID TRANSIT and will move commuters quickly to were they’re going (Sheppard subway from Downsview to Scarborough Ctr = 32 minutes est. and Eglinton-Crosstown RT from Jane to Scarborough Ctr = 45 minutes according to Metrolinx). Transit City LRT by contrast results in 80 minute and 65 minute commutes to cover the same distance respectively.
We must all be willing to invest in making all of our lives better. Subways benefit everyone and existing subways cross river valleys with no issues. A majority of commuters won’t take a bus to connect with a LRT to then connect with another bus. Stop acting like snot-nosed brats and use your heads for once!!
It’s clear we need to bury the track at the Don Valley on Eglinton – four or five times a day I have to do a U-Turn at that exact spot, avoiding cyclists and buses who are getting in my way of driving vroom vroom down the road. A centre-lane track would make that more difficult, so I say that this is an excellent waste of taxpayer money that should make it harder to pay for social services (get a real job social workers and nurses)
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