Eglinton gears up for Light Rapid Transit
LRT construction may close Allen Road for up to a year
The Toronto Transit Commission and Metrolinx are preparing for the construction of the Eglinton-Scarborough Crosstown transit line, which could cause several disruptions, including the closure of Allen Expressway for up to one year.
“A number of businesses are certainly concerned that there will be periods of time when expected walking traffic will be less,” said Steven Petroff, chair of the Upper Village Business Improvement Association.
Mark Ostler, Metrolinx media relations and issues specialist, stated that underground tunnelling, which will not disrupt traffic flow, will begin in 2013. However, station construction will begin in late 2014, which will reduce Eglinton Avenue to a single lane for short periods. “In order to complete the project by 2020, a number of stations will be under construction at the same time,” Ostler said.
The messiest and most disruptive process will be the extraction of the boring machine digging the path below Eglinton Avenue. The machine will have to be extracted at the west side of Allen Road and be dug back into the ground on the east side. The extraction and relaunch will likely occur sometime in 2014. Metrolinx expects that the relocation of equipment will result in the closure of the northbound Allen Expressway from Eglinton Avenue to Lawrence Avenue for up to 12 months, but Metrolinx could not provide dates. “We expect to determine if this closure will occur within the next few months,” said Ostler.
“We are going to be living in dump-truck heaven,” said neighbourhood resident Cary Steinman, whose only real concern is traffic from Eglinton Avenue and Allen Road spilling over onto side streets.
“Anytime there’s anything done on Eglinton, people come screaming through our neighbourhood,” Steinman said.
Though homeowners and businesses are anticipating inconvenience, Steinman said, “Most of the people here feel that it’s a done deal, it’s going to happen, so suck it up and live with it.”