Crosslinx, the company building Toronto’s Eglinton Crosstown LRT, is suing Metrolinx and Infrastructure Ontario as it faces upwards of $134 million in unexpected costs it says were caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.
Crosslinx says it performed an analysis that showed the first wave of the pandemic added $134 million to the megaproject’s costs, and warned a second wave could drive that price tag even higher.
In a news release, Crosslinx spokesperson Kristin Jenkins called the move an “extraordinary step” and attacked the two provincial agencies for their “refusal to declare COVID-19 an emergency and recognize the significant impacts the global pandemic is having on Eglinton Crosstown LRT construction.”
Crosslinx has sued Metrolinx before, in 2018, over the megaproject’s timeline. That lawsuit was settled.
It blames the soaring costs on a range of factors, including:
- Implementing provincially-mandated COVID-19 health and safety protocols
- High rates of “COVID-related absenteeism”
- Supply chain problems
Crosslinx added its subcontractors are facing similar problems, and that it has received hundreds of notices requesting relief in the form of more time or more money.
The company said in a news release it is still dedicated to completing the transit line, the opening of which is now not expected until well into 2022, according to Metrolinx. The more than $5 billion project was originally slated to open in 2020.
CBC Toronto is chasing reaction from Metrolinx and the province.
Premier Doug Ford will likely face questions about this situation when he holds an 11:30 a.m. news conference alongside Prime Minister Justin Trudeau.