Metrolinx, Crosslinx reportedly reach deal
Moody’s report says LRT will be finished in ‘late 2022’
Metrolinx and the company building the Eglinton Crosstown LRT have reportedly agreed to a new opening date for the delayed transit project, but the organizations say they can’t share it with the public until the deal is officially finalized.
According to a new report from credit ratings agency Moody’s, Metrolinx and Crosslinx Transit Solutions have reached a settlement that, once formally approved by both sides, would set a new timetable to complete the 19-kilometre LRT, and see the province pay the company more money to finish the job.
The Nov. 19 report doesn’t specify the new completion date, but says it’s in “late 2022,” which is in line with previous statements from Metrolinx, the Ontario Crown corporation overseeing the $5.5-billion light rail project through midtown Toronto.
The Moody’s document also says Crosslinx, the private consortium assembled to finance and build the LRT, has been working to a revised schedule that would have it complete by Aug. 31.
Neither Metrolinx nor Crosslinx would disclose the new LRT completion date included in the settlement or discuss other details of the agreement.
“Crosslinx is not going to talk about the settlement until it receives final approval,” company spokesperson Kristin Jenkins said in an email.
Metrolinx’s spokesperson, Anne Marie Aikins, said that over the past several months, the agency and Infrastructure Ontario have “engaged in collaborative and productive discussions” to reach a deal with Crosslinx, but “as the settlement has yet to be finalized, we are not in a position to disclose the details.”
She said there has been “terrific progress on the Crosstown and we are working diligently with our contractor to get it completed by end of 2022.”
The LRT has been under construction since 2011, and according to the previous schedule was supposed to open in September 2021.
According to the Moody’s report, which is an updated credit assessment of Crosslinx, in addition to setting a new date, the settlement “addresses a large number of outstanding claims between the parties.” Under the terms of the deal, the consortium would be compensated by the province for additional costs it has incurred during work on the LRT.
How much Crosslinx is set to receive is unclear, but in October 2020 it said social distancing requirements, supply chain problems, and absenteeism had significantly reduced productivity, and estimated the first wave of the pandemic had cost it $134 million in increased expenses.
This is the second time in just over a year that the public has learned significant information about the publicly funded LRT from a Moody’s report rather than from Metrolinx or Crosslinx.
As the Star previously reported, a September 2020 report from the ratings firm revealed Crosslinx had floated a plan to open the LRT in stages. That proposal does not appear to be part of the new settlement.
Neither Metrolinx nor Crosslinx would disclose the new LRT completion date included in the settlement or discuss other details of the agreement