Metrolinx and Ontario announced improvements to the area's Dufferin St. Bridge to take place as part of the GO Regional Express Rail (RER) program.
With funding from the Moving Ontario Forward plan, Metrolinx plans to expand the bridge at Queen St. W. in Toronto to make way for the additional track needed for the Barrie GO corridor outlined in the GO RER program.
GO RER aims to deliver faster, more frequent service on the GO Transit rail network, which is expected to serve as the community’s foundation for a new rapid transit system. GO Transit rail network will have electrification installed on core segments, including the Union-Pearson (UP) Express. The service upgrades are expected to better facilitate Toronto’s SmartTrack plan, as well.
Officials say the improvements to the bridge are part of the final phase of the original jog-elimination project the City of Toronto completed in 2010.
The Ontario-based company EllisDon was awarded the bridge expansion contract valued at more than $6.4 million. Upgrades are set for completion within one year.
Metrolinx has also partnered with the City of Toronto to extend the West Toronto Rail path multi-use trail along the existing rail corridor, connecting pedestrians from Dupont St. to just east of Dufferin St. in the West Queen West community.
“Metrolinx is pleased to work with the City of Toronto on this expansion project and is committed to working with the West Queen West community on [the] improvements,” said Bruce McCuaig, president and CEO of Metrolinx.
The rail path is also set to connect to the future Dufferin-Peel Park being built by the City of Toronto.
“The improvements to the Dufferin St. Bridge show our commitment to implement much needed rapid transit infrastructure in the [Greater Toronto Hamilton Area],” said Steven Del Duca, Ontario minister of transportation. “Rapid transit expansion is all about giving people more transit options and making it as easy as possible for people to choose transit first. This is proof of our government’s plan in action. We are committed to providing accessible, modern transit infrastructure that will help manage congestion, reduce commute times, create jobs and improve the quality of life for Ontarians.”
Some other key facts about the project include the following:
- This investment supports the province’s Climate Change Action Plan – which committed $200 million for cycling, including active transportation corridors along transit routes.
- Through the Moving Ontario Forward plan, Ontario is investing $31.5 billion over 10 years for transit, transportation and other infrastructure projects across the province.
- Weekly trips across the entire GO rail network are expected to grow from about 1,500 to nearly 6,000 in 10 years.
- Since 2003, Ontario has extended GO’s rail network by nearly 90 kilometers, opened 14 new GO stations, rebuilt four existing stations, and added more than 31,000 new parking spots across the system.
- Research shows that every $100 million of public infrastructure investment in Ontario boosts GDP by $114 million, particularly in construction and manufacturing sectors.