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Union Station’s massive renovation could be in trouble

Union Station's massive renovation could be in trouble
Union Station, pre-renovation. (Image: Steve Harris)

The Star spent some time digging into the details of the city’s massive Union Station revitalization effort, and the news isn’t particularly good. Despite years of disruptions to train and subway passengers and the total excavation of a block of Front Street, the project is blowing its budget and struggling to meet deadlines.

The issue lies with Carillion Canada, a company hired to manage construction on the bulk of the $795 million renovation. Among other things, Carillion is supposed to be delivering a whole new concourse for the station, complete with a new GO Transit lobby and a shopping area. The Star story (which is very much worth reading) goes into quite bit of detail, but the essence of the situation is that city staff are dissatisfied with Carrillion’s progress. The company has repeatedly revised completion schedules, delaying the opening of the new GO concourse (originally scheduled for 2013) and throwing the renovation’s projected 2016 completion into doubt. It’s to the point where the city is considering finding another contractor. “We may decide to change the engine on the train,” Richard Coveduck, the city’s director of design and construction, told the Star. Also, the project’s estimated cost has increased. In late 2012, it was being pegged at $640 million.

Anyhow, we’re sure the renovation will be really nice—whenever it finishes up.

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