TORONTO, April 15, 2015 /CNW/ - The Eglinton Crosstown light rail transit (LRT) project marks a significant milestone this weekend with the lift and move of the two tunnel boring machines (TBMs) tunnelling the western segment of the 10-kilometre underground tunnel.
The TBMs, Dennis and Lea, tunnelling from the west officially reached the half-way point of their journey in January when they arrived at Allen Road. In order to bypass the TTC subway line located in this area, now both Dennis and Lea need to be extracted from the ground, moved across Eglinton Avenue, and re-inserted on the east side of Allen Road.
"It's great to see we've reached another milestone on this important transit project that will benefit Toronto riders," said Steven Del Duca, Minister of Transportation. "This project is proof of our government's commitment to making the daily commute and quality of life better for Ontario families."
The TBMs are 10 metres long, 6.5 metres in diameter and weigh approximately 400 tonnes each. A large gantry crane will hoist each machine and load it onto a self-propelled trailer specially designed to move each TBM. This trailer (or "dolly") has 13 rows of six wheels. Once the TBM is loaded onto the dolly, it will move 100 metres east on Eglinton where another gantry crane will unload the TBM and lower it into the launch shaft.
"The progress we're seeing on this project is very exciting – a true reflection of the important investments in transit made in the Greater Toronto and Hamilton Area (GTHA)," said Bruce McCuaig, President and CEO of Metrolinx. "The Eglinton Crosstown LRT is a significant undertaking and it will transform the transit landscape in Toronto when complete."
The TBMs will be lifted and moved one at a time in the early morning hours of Saturday and Sunday.
Once Dennis and Lea are re-launched on the east side of Allen Road, both machines will continue their tunnel drives east toward Yonge Street to complete the 6.5-kilometre western segment of the Crosstown tunnel. They have already travelled 3,547 metres from where they started at Black Creek Drive. Each TBM installed 14,124 precast concrete tunnel liners, which formed 2,367 rings, for a total of 4,734 rings to form the eastbound and westbound tunnels.
The Eglinton Crosstown project represents a $5.3 billion (2010$) transit improvement investment by the Government of Ontario, which will create tens of thousands of design and construction jobs. When in service, the Crosstown will bring new fast, reliable and comfortable transit to Toronto residents, integrated with existing TTC and GO Transit services.
Construction on the Crosstown began in 2011 with the west launch area at Black Creek Drive and Eglinton Avenue. Dennis and Lea began tunnelling from the west in June 2013. Humber and Don, the TBMs that will dig the east tunnels, will begin their drives in late fall 2015, once construction of the east launch shaft is complete at Eglinton Avenue and Brentcliffe Road.
This project is part of Metrolinx's regional transportation plan to provide residents and businesses in the Greater Toronto and Hamilton Area with fast, convenient and integrated transit. Working through its divisions GO Transit, PRESTO, and Union Pearson Express, Metrolinx is transforming the way the region moves.
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For further information: For media inquiries: Anne Marie Aikins, (416) 202-5796