EllisDon has completed the construction of a widened overpass across Dufferin Street just north of Queen in Toronto's West End. The immediate result of completion of the $8.4 million contract is that Dufferin has reopened with no more detours for local traffic. The new space created up top, however, won't be in use for a while yet.
The newly widened bridge facilitates future transportation upgrades for Torontonians, specifically for those who ride the rails or their bikes, or those who simply walk.
For those who ride GO Trains on the Kitchener, Milton, or Barrie corridors, the widened bridge means that another track can now be laid over the bridge. Eventually this part of the corridor will have two tracks for each of the three corridors, and another two tracks for the UP Express. The increase in tracks means that all corridors will eventually be able to support the frequent 2-Way All-Day trains which RER-type service requires. The provincial government, through Metrolinx, is changing GO from a commuter service to a Regional Express Rail service over the next decade.
The City of Toronto is the province's partner in widening the bridge. The City's contribution is a new piece of the West Toronto Railpath which currently runs along the rail corridor from Dupont to Dundas. A gap remains between Dundas and this bridge: once an extension is completed south from Dundas—and over the Barrie corridor where it splits off—this construction over Dufferin will facilitate another Railpath extension further southeast towards Liberty Village.
To the north of the bridge on the east side, Toronto is preparing to build a new public park named for Portuguese poet and literary star Fernando Pessoa. The Railpath here will connect with the new park. A walkway through Streetcar Developments' recently completed Carnaby condominium complex immediately to the east, will connect the park to Carnaby's retail mews including a new Metro supermarket, and on to Gladstone Avenue.
To the west of Dufferin Street, the infrastructure has now been built to connect the Railpath to Dufferin Street, although it has not yet been opened.
In August of 2016, the Federal Government announced $11.7 million in funding or the estimated $23 million cost of the Railpath extension. The City of Toronto has since completed the Environmental Assessment Study, and detailed design work is underway.
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