The city of Toronto has officially unveiled its busy calendar of construction work that will most likely crowd streets and slow commuting time. Toronto is budgeting more than $1.14 billion for construction work that will include the following:
- Transportation and water system infrastructure
- Streetcar track replacement
- Road resurfacing
- Sewers and water mains
- Green infrastructure
Toronto has allocated around $426 million from the 2023 budget to rehabilitate its transportation infrastructure this year, including:
- $156 million on bridges, culverts, and other transportation infrastructure in the municipal right-of-way
- $65 million on major roads
- $72 million on local roads
- $68 million on expressways including the F.G. Gardiner Strategic Rehabilitation
- $42 million on sidewalks and cycling infrastructure
- $23 million on Vision Zero infrastructure and the Road Safety Plan
The city has also allocated $4.6 million this year to fix potholes on roads and bikeways as part of its pothole repair program.
In addition to transportation infrastructure, Toronto is also spending millions to improve water infrastructure.
Toronto Star reports that improvements to the city’s water system were budgeted for $713 million, including stormwater management, basement flooding protection, and sewer replacements.
Here’s how it breaks down:
- $278 million on water main and water services
- $117 million on local sewer replacement and rehabilitation and forcemains
- $225 million on basement flooding protection
- $93 million on storm water management projects including the Don River and Central Waterfront
Deputy Mayor Jennifer McKelvie stated that the 2023 construction season is going to be busy, and they will actively coordinate this work to minimize disruption as best as possible.
The city said construction work is planned years in advance to minimize traffic and public disruption "as much as possible," phasing out or working to "bundle construction together" to avoid prolonged closures.
To ease traffic congestion, Toronto says traffic agents will be placed to reduce delays at key intersections by managing vehicular, bike, and pedestrian traffic during peak morning and afternoon traffic. The program, piloted in 2016, said the city reduced blocked intersections by 90 percent.
The city encourages people to use its web-based map available on its webpage to help plan travel and avoid road closures.
Some of the projects coming up in Toronto this year will include the following:
- Coxwell Avenue and Gerrard Street East/Eastwood Road streetcar track replacement and water main replacement
- Broadview Avenue from Gerrard Street East to Danforth Avenue water main rehabilitation and streetcar track replacement
- Bloor Street West from Avenue Road to Spadina Avenue Road reconstruction, pedestrian safety improvements, permanent raised cycle tracks and intersection improvements
- Adelaide Street from York Street to Victoria Street streetcar track installation
- University Avenue from Queen Street West to College Street water main replacement and road resurfacing
- Ossington Avenue from Queen Street West to Argyle Street Road resurfacing
- The Queensway from South Kingsway to Ellis Avenue sewer replacement and forcemain renewal
- Bloor Street West over Elmcrest Creek bridge rehabilitation
- Fairbank Memorial Park to Black Creek and various local streets Fairbank Silverthorn tunnel and storm sewers for basement flooding protection
- Rowanwood Avenue, Thornwood Road, Chestnut Park and Roxborough Street replacement of a 100-year-old water main
- O’Connor Drive from Glenwood Crescent to Bermondsey Road sewer upgrades, new public plaza and green infrastructure improvements
- Martin Grove Road from Rexdale Boulevard to Westhumber Boulevard water main replacement
- Fenmar Drive from Steeles Avenue West to Weston Road and Kemar Drive from Fenmar Drive to Weston Road water main rehabilitation
- Keele Street from Steeles Avenue West to Sheppard Avenue West water main replacement
- Bathurst Manor area including Sheppard Avenue West and Bathurst Street sewer and water main
- Westgate Avenue and other local streets sewer and water main upgrades and road resurfacing
- Bathurst Street south of York Downs and other local streets sewer and water main upgrades
- Victoria Park and Sheppard Avenue East sewer and water main upgrades
- Allen Road under Lawrence Street West bridge rehabilitation
- Albion Road Bridge, over Humber River bridge rehabilitation
- Jane Street north of Wilson Road upgrading the storm and sanitary sewers
- Bayview Avenue from Lawrence Avenue East to Eglinton Avenue East Road resurfacing and water main replacement
- Martin Grove Road from Rexdale Boulevard to West Humber Trail water main replacement
- McCowan Road Bridge over West Highland Creek bridge rehabilitation
Despite the challenges, the construction projects aim to improve the overall infrastructure of the city, ensuring better transportation and water systems for residents. However, Torontonians will need to brace themselves for increased congestion and plan their travel accordingly in the coming months. The city's proactive approach and traffic management efforts should help alleviate some of the disruptions caused by the construction work.
Posted by Judy Lamelza