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Toronto City Councillor Denzil Minnan-Wong walks away after speaking to the media outside of the reception area of the Mayor's office at City Hall in Toronto on May 31, 2013.

Peter Power/The Globe and Mail

The City of Toronto has announced it will close the Dufferin Street Bridge to vehicles for about 18 months.

Councillor Denzil Minnan-Wong, chair of the public works and infrastructure committee, made the announcement Friday at City Hall. He said the bridge, which runs over the GO Transit/Metrolinx rail corridor near Exhibition Place, will close June 12.

The bridge had been slated for replacement in 2016, but the city said it will expedite the closure following recent inspections.

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A temporary span will be erected for vehicles while the bridge is reconstructed. More details are expected to be released in late June.

"The purpose of the closure is to ensure public safety prior to installation of the temporary crossing at this site," Minnan-Wong said. "This temporary crossing will provide both vehicular and pedestrian access across the rail corridor until a permanent replacement structure is constructed."

He said the city was informed by outside engineers that the bridge needed to be closed quickly due to safety concerns. The bridge will remain open to pedestrians and cyclists.

Stephen Buckley, general manager of transportation services, said 18,000 vehicles cross the bridge daily.

"It's not going to be without impact," he said of the closure.

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