I have received queries from some people here, and know there is a discussion on another transit site, about the status of the TTC’s 2nd platform contract. Recently I asked Adam Giambrone what was going on, and the following info is based on his reply.
The bid that would otherwise have been successful came in at a price well above the project budget. As this work will be funded by Waterfront Toronto, and they are not prepared to up their contribution, the bid was rejected.
The TTC has reviewed the project staging and will re-tender the work using a different construction scheme that will require the full or partial closing of Front Street. The new tender will go out within a week.
Does this projet include the expansion of the steeetcar loop to accomodate the Queens Quay East line (plus some much needed improvements)? Do they have a new timeline on project completion, at one time I thought it was to be finished in 2010!
Steve: No, the loop expansion is a separate project, and no, I have not seen an updated completion. However, the 2nd platform project actually had to wait its turn, in a way, because of work in the same area on the Union Railway Station expansion (lowering the level of the moat).
If the bids are still too high, which wouldn’t be surprising, could the TTC just bite the bullet and top up the budget? Even at $20 or $30 M, seems like it could be worth it.
Steve: The TTC does not fund its own capital projects (with very limited and small exceptions). If the bids are high, then it is up to the various funding agencies from whom the TTC gets money — the City, Queen’s Park, Waterfront Toronto, Ottawa — the decide whether they want to put more into the project.
In fact, the City recently tightened up its reporting relationship with the TTC to ensure that unexpected increases don’t take place without City approval.
To be honest, I wish they would go with a three platform method – leave the centre platform for detraining passengers and two outside platforms for boarding. This would be similar to how GO operates its Lakeshore trains at Union where they use two platforms (one for boarding and one for detraining.)
However, the other week when I went to board a Yonge train, the line was temporarily closed due to an issue at Rosedale, and the centre platform was beneficial. One Yonge train was left on the south track (normally used for trains going up Yonge) and trains being short turned came in on the north platform. For most customers heading to stops up to Bloor (or changing to B-D trains), this meant that they could simply use train that came (and then departed) on the north track. Luckily, when I got to Union the delay was almost finished and we left shortly after I boarded the train. So separate platforms are not always better.
Steve: The purpose of the new arrangement is to improve the space available on each of two platforms and widen the separation between platform edge and stairwells. If you go to a three track arrangement, the stairwells have to stay where they are.
I’m curious as to why this is funded by Waterfront Toronto. The streetcar loop I can understand, but the subway platform seems like more of a downtown/GO transit transfers (Metrolinx) issue. Is Waterfront Toronto funding all the Union Station upgrades?
Steve: No, WFT is only paying for some of the projects, and this happens to be one where they have money in the pot. Union railway station is being paid for by a combination of the City, Queen’s Park, Ottawa, GO/Metrolinx, Via Rail and private capital.
This project has been on the books for 10 years and still hasn’t even started. If we had any sort of cost benefit perspective on transit capital the Spadina subway extension would be a surface LRT and Union Station and Yonge-Bloor Station would be getting third platforms (as they are used by many times more riders than the Spadina line ever will be). But alas this is Toronto where all these decisions are made by provincial politicians with a view to political expediency. Sigh.
This has just been re-posted with a closing date of 20 October!
We could have built the Bloor/Danforth line all over again and this project will still be going out for tenders. I remember reading in 2005 that this will be ready in 2010. This is another example of TTC incompetence … what a shame that 7 condos were built during this time but this project is still out for tender … WOW!!!
Steve: Actually, the project has been delayed by competing activity in the area related to the expansion of Union railway station, as well as by budget issues at the City. The current re-tendering is being done to get a better price based on a different approach to construction.
So much for getting lower bids.
ELLISDON CORPORATION $161,550,000.00
KENAIDAN CONTRACTING LTD. $181,377,000.00
$9 M higher than the first attempt. Not looking good for this project…
Any further updates?