TORONTO—The Ontario government has officially started tunnelling for the Eglinton Crosstown West Extension in west Toronto, marking a milestone for the seven-stop extension that will extend the rapid transit line to Etobicoke and Mississauga.
Two tunnel boring machines at the Renforth launch shaft site will dig the over six-kilometre twin tunnels underground along Eglinton Avenue West, forming the underground section for the extension between Renforth Drive and Scarlett Road, stated a release. The machines will operate approximately 20 metres deep and move about 10 to 15 metres a day.
Each tunnel boring machine is 6.7 metres in diameter and can tunnel 75 metres per week and remove 500 cubic metres of earth each day.
Last July, the construction consortium West End Connectors broke ground at the Renforth launch shaft site for the arrival of the tunnel boring machines in December.
The Eglinton Crosstown West Extension will extend the future Eglinton Crosstown LRT service another 9.2 kilometres, creating a continuous rapid transit line along Eglinton Avenue from Scarborough into Mississauga and Etobicoke. The extension will run underground from Renforth Drive to Scarlett Road, where it will then run on an elevated guideway to Jane Street before heading underground again to connect with Mount Dennis Station.
The project is expected to create 4,600 jobs annually during construction.
Last May, the Government of Canada announced over $10 billion in funding for Ontario’s four priority subway projects in the Greater Toronto Area –the Ontario Line, the three-stop Scarborough Subway Extension, the Yonge North Subway Extension and the Eglinton Crosstown West Extension.
“I’m so excited to see the team pressing forward on this project for the people of the GTA. This project and the others that make up our Subway Program are part of the largest subway expansion in recent history. Together, they will add more than 40 kilometres of new subway service to the region’s transit network and make it much easier to choose transit first,” stated Phil Verster, president and CEO of Metrolinx, in a statement.