Twin 6.3-kilometre tunnels completed on Eglinton Crosstown West extension

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After being disassembled, parts of the TBM are carefully lifted out of the extraction shaft with a crane. (Metrolinx photo)

Robin MacLennan

Ontario Construction Report staff writer

Rexy and Renny have wrapped up their work on the Eglinton Crosstown West Extension and are hanging up their hard hats.

Over the past two years, the twin tunnel boring machines (TBMs) have been the driving force behind progress on the western underground segment of the extension. The project will bring future Eglinton Crosstown LRT service 9.2 kilometres farther west with seven new stations along the way.

The 750-tonne, 131-metre-long machines carefully excavated through the earth to construct two parallel tunnels stretching 6.3 kilometers from Renforth Drive in Mississauga to west of Scarlett Road in Etobicoke, where the future line will come to the surface and transition to a 1.5-kilometre elevated section. Renny broke through the final wall and emerged from the tunnel at the extraction shaft in May, approximately three weeks after the other TBM, Rexy, reached the finish line.

“Completing this important phase of tunnelling work will help build even more momentum behind the project as construction progresses across the entire line. This is a significant milestone for the Eglinton Crosstown West Extension because it means we are a big step closer to bringing rapid transit to more communities and reducing travel times for customers by up to 24 minutes,” said Phil Verster, president and CEO of Metrolinx.

Along the way, Rexy and Renny excavated about 1.2 million tonnes of soil and rock and installed a total of more than 52,000 pre-cast concrete segments to build 7,433 sturdy rings to support the tunnel walls.

Work will continue at the extraction shaft to lay the foundations and form the structure of the future tunnel portal. Over the months to come, crews will finish up work on the passageways that connect the tunnels.

Crews are preparing sites for construction of the elevated segment between Scarlett Road and Jane Street, which will run along the north side of Eglinton Avenue West.

Work sites are also being prepared from east of Jane Street and Mount Dennis Station to excavate the eastern underground section of the line, which will connect the extension to future Eglinton Crosstown LRT service.

“Our strong partnership with the province is helping build more transit, more quickly, for the people of Toronto,” said Olivia Chow, Mayor of Toronto. “The Eglinton Crosstown West Extension will help more communities conveniently access rapid transit. Together, we can relieve congestion and give people more options to get to work, school or run errands.”

“This is a huge achievement for Etobicoke Centre. We are expanding the subway system by 50 per cent. This will bring more access to fast and reliable public transit for Etobicoke Centre constituents, connecting them to Mississauga and the rest of Toronto.”

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