Tuesday, September 01, 2009

Toronto to have an Island Airport Tunnel?

According to the Toronto Star the Toronto Port Authority (TPA) has made its first step in moving forward with building a pedestrian tunnel under the lake, to the island airport which is hoped to be completed by March 2011.

The TPA just issued a formal request for proposals to conduct an environmental assessment, which is said to be the first step in development. The TPA is hoping to use a requested $38 million of the government stimulus package. However, the article notes that under the rules for infrastructure funding,

“…federal dollars may represent only fifty (50) per cent of the total cost of a funded project, which in this case would be $19 million.”

The Port Authority is prepared to put $7 million towards the project, leaving them negative $12 million that they have applied to the Province for.

In June alone, 70,000 passengers used the airport, all of which had to take a 90-second ferry ride to access the airport, which at present can only hold up to 150 passengers per trip.

Mark McQueen, chairperson of the TPA believes that the tunnel will promote an increase in daily flights, and stressed the benefits of the tunnel lowering carbon emissions and allowing quick access to the mainland.

- Rachel Spence, Legal Assistant

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