Gardiner expressway rehabilitation part of billion dollars in City of Toronto infrastructure projects this year

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By Robin MacLennan

Ontario Construction News staff writer

The westbound Gardiner Expressway Sherbourne-Jarvis off-ramp will close on Friday for several months for “major construction.”

The City of Toronto said in a statement on Monday that the closure marks the first project under a “strategic rehabilitation plan” for the highway.

Last year, Aecon Group Inc. won a $248 million contract with the City of Toronto to carry out rehabilitation work, including  replacing the full superstructure of the elevated highway along a 1.1-kilometre section between Cherry and Jarvis streets east of downtown. Aecon said the project also entails the rehabilitation of three highway ramps and the installation of new lighting along the route.

Officials said the westbound Gardiner Expressway will be reduced to two lanes between the Don Valley Parkway and just west of the affected off-ramp from 10 p.m. on Friday to 5 a.m. on Saturday to “facilitate workers’ safety setting up the work zone.

Crews will be working around the clock – 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

It’s the latest project in a busy season that saw a billion dollars worth of construction projects carried out during the summer on over 600 streets across the city.

Here’s where the money was spent:

  • $590 million to rehabilitate and improve transportation infrastructure – including $170 million on reconstructing and resurfacing roads, $200 million on maintaining expressways, including Gardiner rehabilitation work.
  • $60 million on constructing and improving sidewalks and cycling infrastructure.
  • $45 million on Vision Zero infrastructure and road safety plan.
  • $115 million on bridge rehabilitation – including four bridges over the Don Valley Parkway
  • $480 million for Toronto’s aging sewer and watermain infrastructure — some of the city’s working watermains are 140 years old and made of wood

The westbound Gardiner Expressway Sherbourne-Jarvis off-ramp will close on Friday for several months as it is set to undergo “major construction.”

The City of Toronto said in a statement that the closure marks the first project under a “strategic rehabilitation plan” for the highway.

The ramp will officially be closed to traffic as of 11:59 p.m. on Friday.

Officials said the westbound Gardiner will be reduced to two lanes between the Don Valley Parkway and just west of the affected off-ramp from 10 pm on Friday to 5 am Saturday to “facilitate workers’ safety setting up the work zone.”

Another phase of construction is set to begin later in October when the Gardiner will be reduced to two lanes in each direction between York Street and the Don Valley Parkway. Crews will be working to replace the north half of the concrete deck and steel girders on the expressway between Jarvis and Cherry streets.

The rehabilitation plan “addresses the immediate and long-term rehabilitation needs of the entire expressway between Highway 427 and the Don Valley Parkway to ensure that it remains in a safe and operable condition now and in the future,” the statement from the city said.

Work was deemed necessary because of the effects of aging, heavy usage, weather and salt and the plan will “keep the entire expressway in a safe and operable condition, now and in the future.”

A strategic plan was developed concurrently with an environmental assessment and it establishes the immediate and long-term rehabilitation needs of the expressway to realign the expressway from Jarvis Street to approximately Logan Avenue and help transform the area to improve transportation corridors and provide more efficient public transit and new public facilities.

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