Why is it taking Toronto longer to fix York Mills Road?

A routine closing of a northbound Toronto street for several months for maintenance and renovations has done nothing to clarify the brief detour and caused some drivers to wonder why the work is taking so long.

On Aug. 31, the city of Toronto announced the removal of the traffic lane and vehicle lane on York Mills Road at Seven Oaks Road, just east of Yonge Street. Local motorists could use the detour in one direction, and then be directed to go to a main street to the right in order to return to their usual roadway.

A sign designating York Mills Road as Eastbound Bay Street between 703 Hillhurst Ave. and 970 Bay St. — the at-grade exit for eastbound Bay Street — was installed at the intersection on Sept. 3. The city did not indicate when the repairs would be complete. City spokeswoman Jackie Brierly acknowledged that there had been “several late delays” in the project.

“We apologise for any inconvenience that the project may have caused residents and drivers,” Brierly wrote in an email. “Due to the unique nature of the project, we have a variety of planning, permitting and construction steps that need to be carefully planned to ensure that the project occurs safely and on time.”

In a blog post on the City of Toronto website, officials said the closure was “essential for further bridge repairs.”

That closure comes a year after a similar closure for much the same project — the same stretch of road — with a different conclusion. In that 2017 closure, one southbound lane on York Mills Road remained open. A portion of the intersection had already been closed in 2017, causing that northbound side to become a trucking corridor.

Now drivers have been teased with a single lane each direction in the same area, leading to the question of why the city undertook such a complex project, and the expected result.

“This is not normal,” one driver tweeted.

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