’Tis roadwork season

But city says it's short-term pain for long-term gain

Ahh the sounds and sights of summer: jackhammers, drilling, digging and blocked traffic.

It must be construction season.

Projects on the go include everything from replacement of water mains, gas, hydro, streetcar tracks to new roads and sidewalks. So chances are the city is doing some type construction in your neighbourhood.

And that means reduced parking, closed lanes, transit re-routing along with noise and dust.

But it’s all for a good cause, says Joe Condarcuri of Transportation Services.

“Be patient. It’s work that’s required,” he says of the big digs taking place across the city. “If you postpone the work it will cost you more later.”

He compares it to maintaining your vehicle. A little preventative work can save you the migraine of a larger problem later.

“A $100 job will cost $300 if we do it three years from now.”

But we are talking a little more than pocket change when it comes to city spending on state of good repair for bridges, roads, sidewalks, crosswalks and signalized intersections.

For all those items transportation services currently spends $250 million a year, up from $120 million back in 1998.

But the city is still under-funding the need, says Condarcuri.

“The backlog is currently $300 million or about one and half years worth of work,” he says.

Realistically, the department couldn’t tackle the entire backlog in one year. But another $100 million worth of work could be done yearly, if the money was approved.

To that end, the city applied to the federal government for about $90 million in stimulus funding and anticipates a response any day now, says Condarcuri.

“The idea of the stimulus fund from the federal government’s point of view is we are employing people and creating jobs. It’s a bonus that it will help us tackle our (infrastructure) backlog,” he says. “If they approve the stimulus package, we can produce a list in two or three days of which (specific) projects we’d work on.”

The city has an interactive map that’s updated weekly of all projects at www.toronto.ca/transportation/capital_program/pdf/2009_arc_map.pdf.

You will also find a list of projects, updated weekly, at www.toronto.ca/transportation/capital_program/index.htm.

Roadwork in our community

[list=1][*]Where: Lillian St. between Eglinton Ave. East to Soudan Ave.
Impact: One southbound lane occupied
Estimated completion date: Oct. 30[*]Where: Woodlawn Ave. at Yonge St.
Impact: One lane maintained at all times
Estimated completion date: Dec. 18[*]Where: Laird Dr. from Wicksteed Ave. to Commercial Rd.
Impact: Various lane restrictions
Estimated completion date: Sept. 18[*]Where: Roxborough St. East from Yonge St. to Chestnut Park Rd.
Impact: One lane maintained at all times
Estimated completion date: Dec. 18[/list]

About this article:

By: Kris Scheuer
Posted: Aug 28 2009 2:33 pm
Filed in: NEWS
Edition: Toronto