Ship Channel Bridge – Update June 3

Toronto (June 3, 2024) – Engineering and construction contractor teams have confirmed a timeline for critical repairs to the damaged main shaft and lifting mechanism of the Ship Channel Bridge.
 
Repair Period 1: Between June 3 and July 4, work will continue as we replace the damaged main shaft and lifting mechanism of the Ship Channel Bridge. The nature of the work during this period, which includes the manufacture of a new steel shaft to replace the damaged 93-year old original piece, will require the bridge to remain locked in the upright position for majority of work activities in order to ensure the safety of workers and the public. While this work is taking place, access the Port of Toronto and Cherry Beach is maintained via Unwin Avenue. PortsToronto has engaged and is contributing funding for traffic control officers to be posted at the Leslie Street / Unwin Avenue bailey bridge to help ease congestion.
 
Repair Period 2: Between July 5 and 29, the Ship Channel Bridge will be lowered to the down position to complete the remainder of the repair. While this work is taking place, we will look for any opportunities to safely open one lane of vehicle, bicycle and pedestrian traffic without risk to workers or the public. An update on access will be provided as we approach Repair Period 2.  
 
Background
The Ship Channel Bridge initially sustained hardware damage on April 22. Follow-up inspection on initial repairs confirmed that the main shaft of the bridge is bent, which has the potential to cause a full failure of the lifting mechanism. This mechanism is an original, 93-year old part of the bridge and is scheduled to be replaced and/or rehabilitated as part of the final stage of an ongoing rehabilitation project led by PortsToronto and the City of Toronto, which has been underway since March 2022.
 
In March 2022, PortsToronto in partnership with the City of Toronto began a major rehabilitation program to modernize the ageing Ship Channel Lift Bridge, a vital piece of infrastructure supporting Toronto’s supply chain that was originally constructed in 1931. Through this project, PortsToronto and the City of Toronto, will restore and revitalize the Ship Channel Lift Bridge, a vital element of marine and vehicle transportation infrastructure enabling the transfer of cargo from the Port into the City of Toronto and surrounding area.
 
In March 2024, the project reached the substantial completion of Phase 1 – the rehabilitation of the bridge’s north and south roadway spans. Phase 2, scheduled to begin in late 2024, will restore the bascule lift bridge structure and replace end of life mechanical and electrical lift systems. The majority of this work is limited to the winter months when the Ship Channel Bridge is not operational. It is expected that the overall project will be completed in 2027.
 
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