Gutted lanes of Bloor Street in Toronto closed for weeks after a broken pipe

No fewer than 45 northbound lanes of Bloor Street were completely off limits to all traffic between Cavenagh Street and Winston Churchill Parkway over the weekend after Toronto’s Municipal Transportation Agency said crews would be working to make a permanent street sidewalk by fixing a “significant” broken drainage line. The Canadian city’s largest transit agency says the work should be completed by Tuesday evening.

But it’s been in place for months, a surprising amount of time for something that had never really been explained to drivers who work or ride in the area, many of whom noted the work in the comment section of The Globe and Mail’s tweet highlighting the photo.

Toronto’s Bloor Street in the busy corner of Chelsea is closed for repairs. No idea why. And it’s in busy Toronto. And it’s in prime location. #ahn3 — Matt Caron (@TweetofMe) July 21, 2018

it’s absolutely insane, your driveway ends before its fork-in-the-road bridge ends. your inner vehicle – not your exterior – has limited mileage on the beltway as a vehicle. the sidewalk in the middle of this road is permanently closed with the expectation that there are no pedestrians, crickets, animals or anything that may strike people and/or vehicles… — David Strahan (@@StrahanSLG) July 22, 2018

Possibly, the TTC is simply not completely up to speed with what’s going on.

@MTO Seriously? No work is required to fix Bloor Street? Makes sense. Instead, this is a shameful waste of time and money. — JASON CHU (@JasonChu1) July 22, 2018

And for what reason does the Bloor Street section have two distinct lanes?

As for the specific need for so many of the northbound lanes closed for work, at this point, no one is quite sure what’s causing the line to collapse and move so slowly. The line is especially important because it was a sign of how precarious conditions were getting on the now-closed stretch of the highway: in 2002, after Toronto’s Liberal Party administration enacted legislation that allowed the city to collect tolls to help pay for bridge repairs, the Bloor-Yonge Bridge fell over on its side, nearly killing an ambulance rushing to take people to a hospital.

Last year, the Canadian city’s municipal transportation agency claimed it was only going to be closing two northbound lanes for the project, and it was yet another surprise, considering the massive increase in gas prices over the weekend, most likely spurred by the Trudeau government’s decision to ban gasoline at the pump.

The Vancouver Sun had reported earlier this year that the work would include tarps that drivers would need to keep closed in their cars when driving in the area, owing to the “safety risk” of the pipe.

The views expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of, and should not be attributed to, New York Magazine.


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