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Burloak Grade Separation Project Costs to Remain as Originally Agreed

Council Approved - Burloak Grade Separation Project - TW

MY TAKE:

I thank staff for working so hard behind the scenes on this and standing firm on not being pushed into covering Metrolinx’s cost overrun on this project because it wasn’t our cost overrun. This is the result of great work from our government relations and technical staff — pushing to see details of the cost overruns and find savings. This was also a great success story for Council’s advocacy efforts via resolutions at both City Council and Regional Council, and I especially want to thank Ward Councillor Paul Sharman on this. Our joint advocacy does pay off, and this is just one example, where we worked together to protect our taxpayers and ensure the agency responsible for cost overruns absorbed the cost.

Click here for the staff report: ES-26-22 Burloak Grade Separation and Drury Pedestrian Bridge Update.

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*Please see below a news release issued by the City of Burlington.

Burlington, Ont. — June 22, 2022 — At the June 21 Burlington City Council meeting, Council agreed to a revised financial framework for cost-sharing, delivery and maintenance of the Burloak Grade Separation project with Metrolinx.

In 2018 all parties agreed on a capped cost share, of 50 per cent Metrolinx and 25 per cent each for Burlington and Oakville, for a total project cost of $60 million. However, earlier this year, Metrolinx informed the City of Burlington and the Town of Oakville that the total project cost was $177 million and each municipality would need to pay $45 million each.

With a strong partnership between Metrolinx and the municipalities, on going discussions led to opportunities to further reduce the financial ask of the City of Burlington for this project to the original agreed upon cost of $15 million.

Part of the updated savings for this cost-sharing agreement comes from a planned 12-month road closure of Burloak Drive and previously agreed to credit for works completed by Burlington in advance of this project.

The Burloak Drive closure will be from July 2026 to August 2027.

“We’re very happy to reduce the costs back to our original agreed upon $15 million for this project. Once complete, this grade separation will significantly reduce congestion and greenhouse gas emissions by not having vehicles stopped at the rail line crossing, waiting for the train to pass. It will also make the crossing much safer for all users by virtually eliminating most risks of collisions with on-coming trains.” — Scott Hamilton, Director of Engineering Services, City of Burlington

About the Burloak Grade Separation Project

  • The Burloak Grade Separation Project, a project led by Metrolinx, and in partnership with the Town of Oakville, would see the construction of an underpass (road-under-rail) at the existing at-grade crossing on Burloak Drive. This project is part of the GO Expansion – Lakeshore West Infrastructure Improvements work.
  • Burloak Grade Separation project is pivotal to easing traffic congestion and creating safer roads for drivers, pedestrians, cyclists, transit riders and GO commuters.
  • With GO Transit’s planned 15-minute all-day service by 2025, that will see up to eight trains crossing Burloak Drive every hour, in addition to regular VIA and freight trains, this is a critical project for Oakville and Burlington’s mobility.
  • The need for a grade separation at Burloak Drive and the Lakeshore West Rail Line was identified in 1994 through a joint transportation Environmental Assessment (EA) study with the City of Burlington.
  • The contract for this project was awarded by Infrastructure Ontario and Metrolinx on Feb. 28, 2022.
  • Temporary diversion of existing tracks to the south during construction
  • Relocation of utilities (e.g. sewer, hydro, and communications) to build the underpass

Quick Facts:

  • Over the last seven years staff from the City of Burlington, the Town of Oakville and Metrolinx have been working collaboratively and diligently on the design, costing and procurement for the Burloak Grade Separation.
  • Burloak Drive road-rail crossing grade separation was announced by the federal and provincial government in 2015. The City of Burlington, in conjunction with the Town of Oakville, completed an environmental assessment in 1994 to grade separate Burloak Drive.
  • Oct. 12, 2018, all parties agreed on a capped cost share for a total project cost of $60 million. We are unable to break out the actual costs for the grade separation as the project was tendered with seven other projects through Infrastructure Ontario’s Public-Private-Partnership procurement model.
  • May 2021 – present – Metrolinx reviewed tender submissions and began cost and scope negotiation with preferred proponent. Municipalities were excluded from this process.
  • June 2021 – Financial cost of projects known by Metrolinx as well as massive overrun compared to project budget.

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A Better Burlington began in 2006 after my neighbours said they felt left out of city decisions, learning about them only after they’d been made. As journalist for 22 years, I thought “I can do something about that” and a website and newsletter were born. They’ve taken various forms and names over the years, but the intent remains: To let you know what’s happening at City Hall before decisions are made, so you can influence outcomes for A Better Burlington. The best decisions are made when elected representatives tap the wisdom of our community members, and welcome many different perspectives.This site allows residents to comment and debate with each other; our Commenting Guidelines established in 2016 aim to keep debate respectful. Got an idea or comment you want to share privately? Please, get in touch:

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