Toronto speeds up road maintenance work on city’s car-free streets

Toronto’s local government has taken advantage of a fall in city traffic to accelerate construction on the city’s roads.

As road use has fallen to 35% of its level before the coronavirus pandemic, the city has relaxed restrictions on roads and intersections work during peak and off-peak hours.

The projects affected include the replacement of watermains and bridge renovation at a number of sites in the city. Altogether, Toronto is planning to resurface 147 roads and upgrading sewers on 100 streets, as well as repairing potholes and improving pavements and cycle lanes.

Since March, Toronto’s work zone coordination team has approved 600 rush-hour exemptions and extended work hours accordingly.

John Tory, Toronto’s mayor, said: "Despite the current challenges we are facing with Covid-19, this is an unprecedented opportunity to accelerate as many of the city’s major planned construction projects as possible as we kick off our summer construction season.

"This is another example of commonsense action the city is taking during the pandemic to help as much as we can. And while the vast majority of residents continue to adhere to the advice to stay home, I am committed to getting this work done and getting it done as quickly as possible so it’s ready for all our residents and businesses when we come out on the other side."

The Province of Ontario has decided that construction is an essential service, and so can continue during the lock-down.

Image: Toronto’s skyline (Retina2020/Dreamstime)

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