The TTC’s board of commissioners approved $400 million in extra funds for the Spadina subway extension during its meeting Thursday, Jan. 21.
The board was expected to approve the request made public by the TTC last week in order to account for hundreds of millions in unsettled contractor claims for the Toronto York Spadina Subway Extension (TYSSE), which has experienced significant delays. It’s the second time in 10 months, more money has been needed for the extension, driving its budget to nearly $3.2 billion.
TTC CEO Andy Byford said it was always known extra costs – over and above the $150 million authorized for a third-party company in March to manage the remaining TYSSE construction – would be needed.
“We said at the time that report was not the end of the issue, the $150 million would get us across the line to open the Spadina extension by 2017,” Byford said. “But what we couldn’t say at the time was what the final cost would be in terms of claims and uncalculated costs.”
Even though the project was funded by all levels of government, only the City of Toronto and York Region are on the hook for cost overruns. That will work out to a 60-40 funding split with Toronto paying the larger share of $240 million.
While Byford couldn’t guarantee no more money will be needed to finish the work – according to the TYSSE report the extension is 80 per cent completed – he told the board the money requested was an “upper limit” ask, which could be reduced through negotiations with contractors, or if the TTC determined a claim was frivolous.
And Byford said it was unlikely contractors would intentionally delay the pace of the work to gain leverage for settling unpaid claims.
“The contractors, by-and-large, want to finish because at the end of the day the longer they stay on site the more costs they incur,” he said.
TTC board member Alan Heisey said one of the issues with the TYSSE was the elaborate nature of the station design. The stations boast natural lighting as well as enlarged entrances and concourses.
The issue now moves to Toronto council, which must approve the request and determine how to find the extra money for TYSSE.