North York Mirror
Unforeseen delays, including a fatal construction accident at York University last year, will stall the completion of the Toronto-York Spadina subway extension by nearly one full year.
The six-stop extension traveling north from Downsview station, to be renamed Sheppard West station, and ending in Vaughan will now open in the fall of 2016 as opposed to December 2015 – if there are no more further delays to construction, said TTC spokesperson Brad Ross.
“We put out a schedule that wasn’t achievable,” said Ross, executive director of communications for the TTC. “The fatality at the York site was a significant impact.”
The TTC has released a report indicating the altered schedule that it will present to its board of commissioners at a meeting Wednesday.
The report attributes the lengthened timeline to “major schedule impacts” including the fatal accident at the planned York University subway station construction site on the university’s campus last fall that resulted in the death of a worker.
Kyle Knox was killed on Oct. 11, 2011 when a drilling machine toppled over and crushed the construction vehicle he was in.
Ross said the subsequent Ontario Ministry of Labour investigation into Knox’s death closed off the site until February.
At the time of his death, Knox was working for Advanced Construction Techniques Ltd., an Ontario company subcontracted by Spanish firms Obrascon Huarte Lain and Fomento de Construcionnes y Contratas to do work at the York University site.
Four charges were laid by the ministry against the companies at the beginning of October for failing to provide required safety measures at the York University site.
That, as well as start-up tunneling at the planned Hwy. 407 station, has resulted in work at various sites falling behind at the location’s five construction site by six to eight months, according to the report.
Funding delays, which left the TTC without a lack of advance money for unanticipated construction snags, also played a role, in addition to unanticipated changes to station designs and concepts. Those added between three and seven months to the schedule.
Another negative impact on construction of the line resulted from the slow response from non-municipal owners in relocating utilities like sewers and watermains.
Ross said the TTC is confident it will reach its new target of 2016, but no contingencies are in place to account for further delays.
The $2.6-billion subway extension was funded by the provincial and federal governments, plus the City of Toronto and Municipality of York Region.