The City of Toronto is pumping an additional $3.4 million into construction on the Gardiner Expressway in order to knock three months off the project’s timeline.
At a news conference Monday, Toronto Mayor John Tory said the budget increase will allow construction to be complete by July 2016.
The work is part of the City of Toronto’s “Strategic Plan for the Rehabilitation of the Gardiner Expressway,” which involves the elevated portion between Dufferin and Bathurst Streets.
Construction began on the crumbling section in April 2014, but was paused temporarily for the Pan Am and Parapan Am Games this summer. The project resumed in August, and was estimated to be complete by October 2016.
Instead, Tory said it will be completed three months early, in exchange for an extra $3.4 million.
The money will cover an increase in workers and extended work hours, a deal negotiated by the city and the contractor.
Previous estimates from the City of Toronto have put the annual cost of maintaining the Gardiner at approximately $12 million.
In 2013, Toronto City Council approved an approximately $500 million, 10-year allocation for Gardiner repairs.
Tory said the city loses approximately $1 million per day in lost productivity due to traffic delays caused by lane closures on the Gardiner.
“If it’s a million a day and we’re saving 90 days on the construction compared to an investment of $3.4 million to get that done, it’s common sense,” he said.
“You make that investment. You get the job done faster … Productivity can be restored and we don’t have this huge cost to the economy.”