Millions for Gardiner Expressway repairs never spent

Tens of millions of dollars budgeted for the Gardiner Expressway repairs over the last decade were never spent.

A document obtained by CBC News reveals that millions intended to be put towards fixing the Gardiner Expressway, the elevated highway that runs just north of the Toronto shoreline, never made its way to the road.

“The numbers we have show the Gardiner has been starved and neglected for a number of years,” said Coun. Denzil Minnan Wong, chair of the city’s public works committee.

City staff say some of the money for the repairs was likely carried over in the next year’s budget and the rest of the money possibly diverted into other projects.

“So far there is no explanation for it,” Wong said. “Staff aren’t clear why this has occurred.”

A study done in October found the highway’s deteriorating concrete was a significant safety hazard.

Falling concrete

In the last year alone several chunks of concrete have fallen from the Gardiner’s underbelly, forcing many inspections and closures.

No one was hurt in those incidents.

In 2008 and 2009 nearly $40 million was budgeted, but evidently only $12 million was actually spent to fix the often problematic expressway.

That is also the same time that Waterfront Toronto began an envionmental assessment, examining the idea of burying part of the Gardiner, east of Jarvis.

“There was a decision to only undertake emergency repairs on that section of the Gardiner until results of that study were known,” said John Kelley, the city’s acting director of design and construction.

There is now a push to finish that study before council signs off on the latest budget, which allocates spending $500 million on the Gardiner over the next 10 years.

Reprinted with permission from

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