Well, that didn’t take long.

Less than two months after Toronto’s infamously congested Gardiner Expressway was reduced to two lanes in both directions between Dufferin Street and Strachan Avenue, Toronto city councillors have approved a motion that could speed up construction on the 60-year-old urban highway.

The latest construction is part two of a five-phase plan to revitalize the Gardiner — one that’s currently slated to take three(!) years.

The narrative driven home by the City of Toronto has been that the aging highway’s need for repair is undeniable, and the construction represents short-term pain, for long-term gain. However, drivers (and ride share users, and GO Bus riders) don’t think it should hurt this much. In short, it’s a nightmare.

Now, the traffic on the Gardiner is virtually at a standstill within a three-hour timeframe around rush hours. It’s maddening and mood-ruining (to put it lightly). It’s even more painful to imagine how the situation will look come August if – when? – there’s a Blue Jays game, Budweiser Stage concert, and the Canadian National Exhibition (CNE) taking place on the same night. (Shudder.)

Gardiner expresswaystoreys.com

The motion, put forth by Councillor Brad Bradford, requests the City’s transportation staff to present a plan come July that will detail how to ramp up work on the highway and reduce traffic and congestion. City staff will explore things like the possibility of 24/7 construction, and working on Sundays. The goal is to reduce construction time to two years. In council, Bradford shared the impact of the Gardiner gridlock on a new mom — something that now adds two precious hours to her daily commute time.

As part of the motion, City staff will also evaluate other road construction and repair projects along corridors adjacent to the Gardiner. It also includes the creation of a working group to look into the issue.

Yesterday, city councillors also voted to open the westbound on-ramp to the Gardiner from Lake Shore Boulevard at Jameson Avenue during the evening rush hour. Starting in 2017, the ramp was shut on weekdays between 2pm and 7pm due to safety concerns. But now, the Gardiner needs all the roadway it can get.

Earlier today, the City of Toronto took to X to provide an update on the Gardiner construction, offering three images of the site. “Work is progressing well on the Gardiner,” reads the post. “We’ve completed the demolition of ~100 meters, two lanes in width, of the elevated roadway. Work started near Dufferin St & is moving east to Strachan Ave. We’re continuously clearing demolition debris and transporting it for recycling.”