The TTC needs an additional $400 million to finish the Toronto York Spadina Subway Extension (TYSSE).
The money, 60 per cent, or $240 million of which needs to come from the City of Toronto, won’t account for extra construction work for the northern extension of the Spadina line, which isn’t projected to open until late 2017 at the earliest. Instead, said TTC CEO Andy Byford, it’s for settling outstanding legal claims made against the project, which now has a budget of $3.2 billion.
“That amount of money needs to be put aside for known claims from that we know have merit and do need to be funded, and also potential exposure to claims,” said Byford Friday, Jan. 15 following a media tour of the York University station site currently under construction.
“As with any major project, (TYSSE) has received a number of claims from contractors, and we think there are a number to come. The $400M represents what we believe from extensive analysis to be the maximum exposure we are likely to face.”
Byford will present his funding request to the TTC board at a meeting planned for next week, the second request for additional funding for the Spadina extension made within 10 months. In March of 2015, Byford was able to convince the board, and later Toronto Council, to approve adding an additional $150 million to TYSSE’s budget to pay for a third-party consultant company to manage the remaining construction work needed to complete the 8.6 kilometre extension.
Thanks to that decision the TYSSE is now on schedule to open by late 2017 and is 80 per cent complete, said Byford, with every station at least 80 per cent done – with the exception of the York University site.
Even so, significant progress has been made said Byford, who estimated York’s construction is nearing 65 per cent completion. Exterior station work is all but completed, with the last of subway track set to be laid out in the coming weeks. After that “fill-ins”, electrical work and station finishes will take another year to complete.
During Friday’s tour, media had a chance to descend onto the active station construction site, which has approximately 125 workers, to get a first-hand look. York’s massive saddle-shaped entrances are in place, and its concourse, like the rest of the stations on the line, is significantly wider than other TTC subway stations. Another feature is a “waffle roof” which will allow for a tremendous amount of natural light when it’s complete, said station site manager Peter Boyce.
In response to the claim amounts, TTC chair Josh Colle said the transit commission had commissioned an independent review of its entire capital program.
“These claim amounts provide a stark reminder why it was so important to reset this project and change the way the TTC conducts its business,” said Colle in a statement.