Eglinton Crosstown West Extension plans expansion to Mississauga

Mar 28, 2024 | GTA/Local News, News

Ontario announced it is seeking contracts for the next phase of Eglinton Crosstown West Extension (ECWE) development.

Transportation Minister Prabhmeet Sarkaria said the province has issued a Request for Qualifications (RFQ) to design and build seven new stations along the extension at a press conference on Monday.

“This contract will cover the design and construction of all seven stations along the line including architectural, structural, mechanical and electrical work,” Sarkaria said.

The 9.2 km extension will run from the yet-to-open Mount Dennis LRT station to Renforth Drive and will mostly run underground, according to the Metrolinx official website.

This stretch is a westward extension of the original Eglinton Crosstown LRT, which has been in development for more than a decade and remains unopened.

“Once complete, the ECWE will create a rapid transit line from the east end of Toronto through the heart of the city and into Mississauga,” Sarkaria said.

He said that the LRT extension is expected to be used by around 70,000 commuters every day.

“ECWE will help save commuters up to 24 minutes a trip,” Sarkaria said.

Sarkaria said the government had learned from their previous projects as construction time and costs continue to exceed previous estimates.

“We’ve got shovels in the ground for this project already and have completed five kilometres of tunnelling,” he said.

Sarkaria said the government had adopted new procurement measures for these projects and is planning to spend $70 billion over the next 10 years on transportation.

Executive Director of CodeRedTO, a transit advocacy group, Cameron MacLeod said the positive aspect of the extension’s progress is infrastructure is being built faster than before.

“We are getting closer to ongoing network improvements, potentially creating a virtuous cycle of learning and improving on contract structures, funding models, and construction schedules,” McLeod said.

He said while this will bring rapid transit to central Etobicoke, keeping the Extension fully grade-separated would mean fewer stations, higher costs, and less than-promised accessibility.

“it’s important for the public and our leaders to know the result when they make choices that prioritize protecting private car space,” McLeod said.

An Etobicoke resident, Devesh Sangu, said he is eager for the extension to open.

“I travel from Etobicoke to Downtown for work. It takes me two hours to commute from one side. I’m doing four hours of travelling every day,” Sangu said.

He said the extension would save him precious time and money, provided it opens soon.

“I’ve been seeing endless construction and news about the LRT for the longest time. When it opens, I’d be saving a lot,” Sangu said.

At the press conference, Metrolinx CEO Phil Verster said that all major construction on the 25-station Eglinton Crosstown LRT was completed.

The Eglinton LRT would run along Kennedy in the east to Mount Dennis in the West, according to the official Metrolinx route map. The 19-kilometre line has been under construction since 2011 and does not have an opening date yet.

Verster said there were software defects in the signalling and train control system that were causing them to slow down.

“Release 6 of the software has started to be tested; it will fix some of the defects but release 7 is already planned for June,” Verster said.

Toronto Mayor Olivia Chow was also present at the conference. She said the LRT project would help get car congestion off the road.

“[With the LRT] thousands of Torontonians are going to benefit,” Chow said.