Eglinton residents shaken by LRT construction

Metrolinx blames hard soil in area causing greater than expected vibrations

Some Leaside residents are complaining the LRT work on Eglinton Avenue has been causing more than a little noise and traffic tie-ups: it’s shaking them.

As the tunnel-boring machines and construction crews continue to make their way along the route, they’re causing vibration issues in the community, mainly the houses on Eglinton.

Local residents like Erik and Cristina Bregar say Metrolinx undersold disruption caused by the work.

“There is a lot of frustration and complaints,” she said. “When you’re reading the literature it says, ‘some vibration, some noise.’ ”

Asked if she felt Metrolinx downplayed the noise and vibration, she said, “Oh god, yes.”

After speaking with a number of residents on Eglinton, it was clear she wasn’t alone. Another resident, Pam Harris, says the shaking makes relaxing near impossible.

“When I am working in the basement or totally absorbed I don’t pay attention,” Harris said. “Sometimes at 11 o’clock at night, there’s that noise or 8 o’clock at night when you just want quiet … you just hear that noise.”

Metrolinx representative Anne Marie Aikins said Metrolinx is apologetic, but insists their construction team was also surprised, because this is the first time while drilling on Eglinton Avenue West and East they’ve run into this issue.

“The soil conditions are such that it causes more vibration,” Aikins said. “It’s just most of the soil in Toronto is pretty sandy and so it doesn’t cause that much vibration. This area is an old area of Toronto and it just has harder soil.”

She said Metrolinx did not mean to underplay the problem with residents.

“We have been tunneling for a year and a half and we haven’t had this experience … but this area surprised us that it was causing some vibration.”

Bregar said Metrolinx is frustrating as they’re not making enough of an effort to inform people about ongoing problems.

“It’s not like you get a notice. I talked to our councillor and he said they tweet it. Well great, I am not personally on Twitter,” Bregar said. “They put it up on their website, OK, but now I have to check their website every single day.”

Aikins says residents can stay up to date with the project’s progress by following it on social media— Twitter, Facebook, Youtube and Flickr — and on the website.

Metrolinx employs a few other communication methods as well: an email distribution list, door-to-door campaigns (in short notice situations), community information events and bulletins.

Aikins said she understands that with a project like this, it is going to be a disturbance for people, but the end result will be great transit.

“This is one of the largest transit infrastructure projects in the country. You can’t build that without it causing disruption for residents, we know that. We knew that getting into it,” Aikins said. “It’s going to have huge benefits at the end of it. But there will be some pain until we get to the end and you see the wonderful transit they will have in their community.”

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Posted: Apr 10 2016 5:11 pm
Filed in: NEWS