Tuesday, April 16, 2024
Keeping the Gardiner Expressway in repair has been a project of decades. Photo: toronto.ca

Lane closures to begin for Gardiner Expressway repairs

Age, weather, salt cause long-term damage

On Monday, March 25, lane restrictions will begin on the Gardiner Expressway between Dufferin Street and Strachan Avenue for critical rehabilitation work. This is the next phase of the City of Toronto’s Gardiner Expressway Strategic Rehabilitation Plan.

The Gardiner Expressway is more than 60 years old and is reaching the end of its service life due to the effects of age, heavy daily use, weather and salt.

Those travelling in and out of Toronto should expect the following road impacts with approximate dates:

•    Monday, March 25 to Sunday, April 14: One lane (either eastbound or westbound) will be closed for pre-construction work with intermittent overnight closures of a second lane as required. During the eastbound lane closures, the eastbound on-ramp from Lake Shore Boulevard east of Jameson Avenue will also be closed to facilitate this work.

•    Friday, March 29 to Sunday, March 31: All lanes will be open over Easter weekend.

•    Saturday, April 6 to 11:59 p.m. on Monday, April 8: All lanes will be open.

•    From mid-April until mid-2027: The Gardiner Expressway will be reduced to two lanes in each direction between Dufferin Street and Strachan Avenue with intermittent additional lane closures as required. The eastbound on-ramp from Lake Shore Boulevard east of Jameson Avenue will also be closed.

To keep traffic flowing during construction, the City will use a congestion management plan that includes diversions, traffic agents and signal timing adjustments. Traffic impacts will be monitored and further congestion management measures will be added as required.

Between 2014 and 2016, Toronto City Council approved the Gardiner Expressway Strategic Rehabilitation Plan, which divides all the needed repair work into six sections. More information is available on the City’s website.

The first section, from Jarvis to Cherry Streets, was completed in 2021.

Preparatory work on this portion of the Gardiner began in November 2023 and construction is expected to continue until mid-2027. Details of this work, which will primarily take place Monday to Saturday, from 7 a.m. to 11 p.m., include: 

•    Replacing 700 metres of the elevated bridge surface on the Expressway

•    Rehabilitating the structures underneath that support the elevated Expressway

•    Adding a new traffic management system and streetlights

Other work, including girder removal and replacement, shifting of traffic barriers between work stages and the delivery of materials, may be required at night.

The rehabilitation of this stretch is complex as the roadway is elevated, very narrow and busy. Drivers may not see workers along the Gardiner during road closures, as much of the work will be done from underneath.

In 2026, from May to the end of July, the Expressway will be fully open with no lane restrictions to accommodate the increased traffic anticipated during the FIFA World Cup ™.