Just when you thought the never-ending saga of Leslie Street streetcar track construction couldn't get any worse, it just did. The Globe and Mail is reporting that Leslie Street will be closed an extra month after the contractor laid a stretch of streetcar tracks nearly nine centimetres too high by mistake.
The stretch of Leslie between Queen and Eastern, which had been finally due to be open to traffic in about three weeks, is instead targeting a date in mid-July. Leslie Street will have to be dug up again so that some 60 metres of rails can be ripped out and the track-bed rebuilt slightly lower before they can be re-installed.
Yes, it's true, and we should all shake our collective heads in disbelief. How can there not be better oversight in place by both the contractor, ostensibly hired as the best suited to the job, and the TTC, who is responsible for the completion of the work in the first place?
It's just the latest problem associated with the much-delayed Leslie Barns. At one time, the storage facility had been expected to open in mid-2014, in time to house the new streetcars, which have themselves been delayed. Yes, that's right, when Toronto’s half-a-billion-dollar barn for its fleet of new streetcars opens this summer, it might be practically empty. Instead of the 43 originally anticipated by this time, or even the scaled-back expectation of 15, only three are in service. A fourth is expected next month, but beyond that it’s anyone’s guess, although the TTC insists it will get all 204 by 2019.
Although, it could be better than a constant parade of transit vehicles chugging along through the neighbourhood on their way home to sleep.