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Botched Leslie streetcar track project won't be done until August

Last Updated Jul 22, 2015 at 5:17 am EDT

New curb installation on the west side of Leslie Street, north of Lake Shore Boulevard. Photo: TTC

It’s been a tough year for businesses on Leslie Street between Queen Street East and Eastern Avenue. And it’s not over yet.

The Leslie streetcar tracks, expected to be completed last fall, now won’t be ready to go until mid-August, the TTC says.

“We were hopeful that we would have a July opening of Leslie Street to auto traffic,” TTC Spokesman Brad Ross told Newstalk 1010. “We’re as anxious and eager as everybody to get that re-opened.”

In the meantime, businesses along the roadway continue to suffer and residents struggle to deal with the dust and noise that come with construction.

The tracks were almost ready to go in May when it was discovered that the contractor, Pomerlau Construction, had improperly installed the concrete foundation under the road. The tracks were subsequently ripped up and the foundation was re-laid, which took about six weeks. But the work expected to begin on June 1 didn’t get started until the end of June, Ross told the Toronto Star.

“While we were hopeful (the work would be done) by July it just never materialized that way,” Ross said.

Once the tracks are reinstalled, the road can be paved and finally re-opened to traffic. Overhead wires can be installed with minimal disruption to traffic.

The cost of the project was originally estimated at $14 million. According to the Star, the price tag has soared to over $105 million after the installation of new sewers and valves under the road.