Road construction projects delayed by Toronto 2015 clogging streets this summer and next year

Image of Toronto Mayor John Tory

Toronto Mayor John Tory addresses the media at the dining hall at the CIBC Pan Am/Parapan Am Athletes’ Village in Toronto, Ont. in Toronto, Ont. on Friday June 19, 2015. (Ernest Doroszuk/Toronto Sun)

Think the Pan Am Games traffic jams ended last summer? Guess again.

Mayor John Tory said that one of the legacies of hosting the multi-sport games, which clogged city roads in 2015, is that it’s clogged them again this year.

Last year the city put off doing a lot roadwork because of the event, the mayor explained after meeting with his road closure coordination committee on Thursday. Now drivers have to pay the piper. And city staff confirmed to the Toronto Sun that the increased roadwork will continue next summer as well.

“We anticipated a number of traffic problems that would be caused by the games being in the city and felt to have a lot of construction going on would make it an almost impossible situation,” Tory said. “So that meant this summer we had to catch up on work we had postponed last year.”

Tory acknowledged the work that is badly needed, citing the example of 160-year-old water mains currently being replaced.

“They were sort of a ticking time-bomb in terms of causing much more disruption,” he said. “They simply had to be done.”

Tory stressed that just under half of the projects are being worked on for “extended hours.” Some are even subject to round-the-clock construction if possible to speed them up.

“We’re paying something more for this but I’ve made no secret about it,” he said. “I’ve indicated to the public, and I believe with broad support from them, that we are prepared to pay more to get the disruption period shortened.”

Tory also announced Thursday that the annual fall maintenance closure on the Don Valley Parkway won’t be necessary because of better coordination at City Hall.

Maintenance work on the Gardiner Expressway will still move forward but a potential Toronto Blue Jays playoff run might impact when that takes place, a hopeful Tory said.

“We will be keep our eye on the baseball situation,” he said. “The closure of the Gardiner that I mentioned is planned for the end of October we’re very hopeful there will still be lots going on downtown at the Rogers Centre around that time. But we’ll keep an eye on all that.”

Source: Toronto Sun