Mihevc pushes for shovels in ground on Crosstown

Joe Mihevc’s motion to rush the process of putting shovels in the ground on the Eglinton Crosstown project has been accepted by city council.

“The motion I moved was to get working on those projects ASAP, first order of business, like tomorrow, so that we can get the shovel in the ground as soon as we know the programs are going,” Mihevc said. “We have already done the [environmental assessment] on those projects, so why don’t we get going on them right away?”

Council approved the motion, which will accelerate the process, but even so it will still take about two years to get through the process and for construction to start.

Metrolinx has been working and tunneling across Eglinton Avenue for the past 18 months. But Mihevc says, there is currently no scheduled construction for the rest of the project stations, besides the project completion date of 2021.

“We haven’t even got our plan approved by council yet,” Mihevc said. “Council is supposed to approve this next week.”

Mihevc’s motion has sped up the process. He says, the LRT construction is part of a larger plan with a number of other projects. They will be put before council, but the LRT project is the only one that is ready to go.

“There is a whole plan that has about five or six different components — Smart trak, Scarborough subway and water front projects,” Mihevc said.

“Council is supposed to approve all of those projects next week. Which one goes first? The feds want shovel-ready projects. This is the only one that is shovel ready. My instruction to staff was to get those projects going as fast as possible, so we can see some action.”