Mississauga's future Hurontario Street light rail transit line is losing a loop, as Metrolinx aims to cut costs on the $1.6 billion project.
The three-stop loop would have wound the LRT around the Square One Shopping centre by taking a route along Rathburn Road, Duke Of York Boulevard and Burnhamthorpe Road.
The decision to cut the loop reduces the 18 km rapid transit route from 22 to 19 stops, but Metrolinx says it's key to keeping the project — touted as one of the largest infrastructure projects in the city's history — on budget.
"In order to offer riders a more convenient route and alleviate potential budget pressures ... changes to the scope of the project, recommended by Metrolinx, have been approved by the Government of Ontario," said Phil Verster, Metrolinx's President and CEO, in a statement.
Metrolinx says along with removing the loop through Mississauga's downtown core it will also create a direct in-out access route from Hurontario to the Rathburn stop, located next to the MiWay Transit Terminal.
Mississauga Mayor Bonnie Crombie said she's pleased the Ontario government is still committed to covering 100 per cent of the cost of building the LRT.
"Our residents and businesses are depending on it, even with a reduced scope," she said in a statement.
However, Crombie is hoping the downtown loop will be added at a later date.
"While I understand the financial pressures, the downtown loop is a key component of the LRT and will help us realize the full potential of downtown Mississauga," Crombie said, adding the city will look for alternate funding opportunities to pay for the expansion in the future.
Metrolinx also announced that the construction of a pedestrian bridge at the Cooksville GO Transit stop will be delayed so it can be coordinated with future development at the site.
Despite the changes, Crombie said her priority remains getting shovels in the ground as soon as possible.
The LRT line is scheduled to be completed by 2022.
When it is finished, the line will link GO stations at Port Credit and Cooksville, the Mississauga Transitway, Square One GO Bus Terminal and the Brampton Gateway Terminal.