Gardiner grief: delays, lane closures a sign of things to come

This morning's slow commute on the Gardiner Expressway is likely a sign of things to come as long-term construction work begins on the busy elevated highway.

Construction work will add about 30 minutes to typical weekday commute

Construction will slow traffic on the Gardiner for the next 2 years. 3:04

Long-term lane closures on Toronto's busy Gardiner Expressway begin today and mark the start of a long-term repair project that will add extra time to an already busy morning commute for the next few years.

On Monday morning the left lanes on both the eastbound and westbound Gardiner were closed between Park Lawn Road and Strachan Avenue. The closures are part of long-term construction work on the Gardiner that will continue through to 2016.

"On my way in to work this morning, the road was already slower than usual," CBC's Linda Ward reported.

In the early morning hours there were further lane restrictions eastbound from the Humber River to Carlaw. Those extra closures were removed up as of 5 a.m.

Things didn't get much easier as the morning wore on. CBC overnight reporter Tony Smyth reported stop-and-go traffic on the eastbound Gardiner at 6:40 a.m.

As a result of the construction work, eastbound Lake Shore Boulevard was also very slow Monday morning.

There were also a dozen collisions on the Gardiner Monday morning, three of them involving injuries.

Other details about the long-term repair work on the Gardiner:

  • The work and the lane closures it creates will continue until December 2016 with a pause for next summer's Pan Am Games.
  • During this period, crews will repair three bridges on the Gardiner between the Humber River and Park Lawn Road. There will also be work done this summer to replace the centre median between Ellis Avenue and Dufferin Street.
  • GO Transit officials say they expect the work will cause delays during peak hours on the following bus routes: 16, 21 and 31.

"You'll definitely need to give yourself more time in the mornings," Ward reported. "These delays are going to be the new normal for the next few years."

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