Kerr Street underpass project heads back to the drawing board

Wednesday, March 02, 2022

The Kerr Street Grade Separation (underpass) project has been indefinitely deferred by Metrolinx after numerous delays led to the Public-Private Partnership (P3) bids coming in significantly higher than expected.

Late last week Metrolinx informed the Town of Oakville that the project costs had risen more than $100 million to $234 million and that Metrolinx had decided to indefinitely defer the project "until construction costs fall."

As this is a critical project to create safer streets and improved mobility for our community, Council is committed to exploring all options available to source funding and resume the project. Staff will aim to report back to Council with options by the end of May 2022.

This project to create an underpass at the Lakeshore West rail crossing on Kerr Street was initiated in 2016 at an estimated $130 million, to be funded equally by the Town of Oakville and Metrolinx. In 2018, the town’s share for this project was capped at $65 million (i.e. 50 per cent) regardless of the final cost. This would be funded 80 per cent from development charges and 20 per cent from town reserves. The town has already spent $6.9 million towards this project.

"This project is too urgent to go without for safety and congestion reasons. The deferral of the Kerr Street underpass project impacts both the town’s mobility plans and the Provincial Growth Plan requirements to accommodate a growing population close to GO transit connections. After years of working together on this project, we are extremely disappointed with Metrolinx’s failure to follow through on their obligation to construct this much needed infrastructure. The town must explore all possible alternatives to continue with this project.”

Mayor Rob Burton