Final TBM breakthrough for Toronto Crosstown LRT 18 Aug 2016

TunnelTalk reporting

Final project breakthrough is achieved on the Toronto Eglinton Crosstown project in Canada. TBM Don and TBM Humber arrived at Yonge Street, close to Eglinton Station, yesterday morning (Wednesday August 17), to complete the eastern running tunnels for the Dragados/Aecon Joint Venture.

Fig 1. Underground and surface-level alignment of Toronto Crosstown
Fig 1. Underground and surface-level alignment of Toronto Crosstown

The 6.5m diameter Caterpillar machines – procured by project owner Metrolinx, a transportation agency of the Government of Ontario – were among the last to come off the production line in Toronto following announcement by Caterpillar in May 2013 that it was withdrawing from the TBM manufacturing industry.

The two TBMs constructing the eastern tunnels have each excavated 3.3km of parallel alignment since launch in September last year (2015) from the transition portal at Brentcliffe Road, just east of the future Laird Station. From here the line continues eastwards, at grade, to Kennedy Station (Fig 1). In total, TBM Don and TBM Humber installed 26,178 precast concrete tunnel segments, to form 4,363 rings.

Sister machines TBM Dennis and TBM Lea completed tunneling on the 6.4km-long western underground segment of the Crosstown LRT when they reached Yonge Street in May (2016). That contract is held by the Obayashi/ Kenny/ Kenaidan/ Technicore JV. The line, which includes surface level alignments to the east and west of the central 10km underground section, will be 19km long once it is completed.

TBMs Don and Humber have now completed the eastern tunnels
TBMs Don and Humber have now completed the eastern tunnels

Attention now shifts to tunnel fit out, as well as to construction of the 25 stations that will service the new line. The separate 30-year design-construct-finance-maintain contract to build all the stations and complete trackwork and signaling is held by Crosslinx Transit Solutions (CTS), a consortium of SNC-Lavalin, EllisDon, Aecon, and ACS Infrastructure Canada. Groundbreaking on the first of the stations was made in March this year. That contract, one of the largest in Canadian transportation infrastructure history, is worth Can$9.1 billion. The new line is scheduled to go into service in 2021.

Bruce McCaug, President and CEO of Metrolinx, said: “Having our east tunnel boring machines reach Yonge Street is another exciting progress milestone for the Eglinton Crosstown LRT project. With tunnelling now complete for both the east and west segments of the line and construction under way on many underground stations, our vision of a modern, integrated transit line in Toronto is even closer to becoming a reality.”


Western tunnels completed on Crosstown 25 May 2016

TunnelTalk reporting

TBM excavation of the 6.4km-long western tunnels of the Eglinton Crosstown LRT in Toronto, Canada, is completed by the Obayashi Canada/Kenny/Kenaidan/Technicore JV on behalf of the regional transportation agency, Metrolinx.

Eglinton Crosstown western tunnels now completed
Eglinton Crosstown western tunnels now completed

A total of four 6.5m diameter machines were procured from Caterpillar in 2011 by the owner for underground excavation of 10km of twin running tunnels along the 19km-long Crosstown LRT alignment.

TBM Dennis and TBM Lea completed scheduled tunneling on April 29 to complete 6,419m of running tunnels. In total each machine installed 25,674 precast tunnel segments, spread across 4,279 rings, since first launch in June 2013.

The contractor JV completed TBM excavation of the first half of the western drive in January last year (2015) following successful breakthrough into the Allen Road reception shaft to the west of Eglinton West station. From here the machines were lifted and transported a short distance to another launch shaft on the eastern side of Eglinton West station, before being relaunched in March (2015). Lifting the machines at this location was part of a program decision not to risk mechanized tunneling under the Spadina subway.

“We are making considerable progress on the Eglinton Crosstown LRT line, and the completion of tunnelling from the west to Yonge Street is a significant step for the project,” said the Ontario Minister for Transportation, Steven Del Duca.

The two machines for the 3.25km eastern tunnels contract – held by the 50/50 Dragados Canada/Aecon Joint Venture – were launched from the transition portal at Brentcliffe Road, just east of the future Laird station, in September last year (2015). Metrolinx reports that as of this week TBM Don has advanced 2,143m, while sister machine TBM Humber has completed 2,006m of the parallel tunnel. Both are on schedule for a fall (2016) breakthrough, and with it completion of all the Crosstown running tunnels.

The new LRT line, which features 12 underground stations (including three subway interchanges) and 15 surface-level stations/stops, is scheduled to be open to service in 2021.


Double breakthrough for Crosstown west TBMs 28 Jan 2015
Peter Kenyon, TunnelTalk
The first of two parallel drives for the western twin running tunnels of Toronto’s new Crosstown LRT link is completed. The 5.75m diameter Caterpillar machines broke through the headwall at the Allen Road reception shaft to the west of Eglinton West Station to complete the first half of a 6.25km journey on to Eglinton Station just west of Yonge Street.

Breakthrough at Allen Road reception shaft

The machines, operated by the Obayashi Canada/Kenny/Kenaidan/Technicore JV on behalf of the regional transportation agency Metrolinx, will now be lifted and transported to a launch shaft on the other side of Eglinton West station for the second leg of their journey. It was decided early in the program that the TBMs would not risk tunnelling under the existing Spadina Subway which runs north-south through Eglinton West.
The machines were launched in June 2013, but had been waiting for construction completion of the Allen Road reception shaft since November last year (2014) before they could complete their final breakthrough.
It is expected that the TBMs will be extracted from the reception shaft in March, with the project still on schedule for a 2020 opening of service.
The two machines that will excavate the shorter eastern tunnels have not yet been launched. A $4 billion contract for construction of all 25 of Crosstown’s new stations, track and signalling is not yet awarded although two joint venture teams have submitted final bids and a decision is expected before Spring.
First tunnel award for Toronto Crosstown LRT Sep 2012
Peter Kenyon, TunnelTalk
The first two Caterpillar EPBMs to excavate twin-running tunnels for the Eglinton-Scarborough Crosstown Light Rail Transit (LRT) link in Toronto, Canada, are manufactured and near ready for factory testing.
As tunneling mobilizes for a 2013 start, Obayashi Canada in joint venture with Kenny, Kenaidan Contracting and Technicore Underground, is awarded the first of two tunneling contracts on the new 11km long LRT line by project owner Metrolinx.
Table 1. Bids submitted to Metrolinx for Crosstown tunnels
Bidding company/ JV Bid (Can$m)
Obayashi/ Kenny/ Kenaidan / Technicore JV $320 million*
Dragados Canada/ Aecon Constructors JV $312 million**
Michaels/ Jay Dee JV $330 million**
Kiewit/McNally Partnership $339 million**
Strabag $342 million**
Frontier-Kemper Constructors $347 million**
Ferrovial Agroman $462 million**
Fig 1. 19km Crosstown LRT alignment (orange and brown)
* Includes applicable Harmonized Sales Tax                           Fig 1. 19km Crosstown LRT alignment (orange and brown)
** Does not include applicable Harmonized Sales Tax
The winning JV, known as Crosstown Transit Constructors, were successful against six other prequalified firms with a bid of Can$320 million. The contract comprises 6.25km of 5.75m i.d. twin-running tunnels between the Black Creek Station launch site and the Eglinton Station (Fig 1).
The two new EPBMs, procured by Metrolinx, will complete the first drives through a highly variable glacial till consisting of granular materials and soft clays. Four TBMs in total have been procured to complete the two twin-running drives in a deal worth Can$54 million for Toronto-based Caterpillar.
Metrolinx told TunnelTalk: "The first two TBMs have been manufactured. The first of these is being factory tested at the end of this month (September 2012) and the second at the end of next (October 2012). They will be delivered to the site as soon as the west launch shaft is ready. The current schedule is to deliver the first TBM to site in January 2012."
The first two TBMs will launch early next year on their first drives from the western shaft at Black Creek Station to Allen Road near Eglinton West Station where the machines will be recovered and relaunched on the east side of Allen Road to avoid tunneling under the existing Spadina Subway line. The second drives will continue from there to Eglinton Station, just west of Yonge Street.

First EPBM that will excavate Crosstown tunnels in Toronto under construction in the Caterpillar factory

Metrolinx confirmed it will begin procurement of the second tunneling contract for design-bid-build construction of the remaining 5km of the route from Eglinton Station to Laird later this year. A spokesman said: "We are set to go through a competitive process to select a bidder for the second tunneling contract and will make an announcement at a later date. We plan on issuing an RFQ (request for qualifications) later this year and award a contract next summer."
Drives three and four of the second contract will begin at the easternmost point near Laird Station and make their way westwards towards Yonge Street (Eglinton Station) (Fig 1).
Work has not yet started on the eastern launch site, but at the western side for the first contract it is almost complete by Kenaidan Contracting. "We expect the tunnel contractor to have access to the launch pit in mid-November 2012. All the caissons have just been completed and work continues to complete the cross-bracings of the caissons and staged core excavation with tie-back installation," Metrolinx told TunnelTalk.
Fig 2. Planned transit project alignments in Toronto

Fig 2. Planned transit project alignments in Toronto

The project suffered a setback in May this year when 9km of planned tunneling that would have seen the underground alignment extend as far east as Kennedy Station, was axed. A political U-turn on subway versus at-grade means that the Crosstown section between Laird and Kennedy will now run at grade.
The reason for replacing the underground section to at grade was explained as mostly financial. By halving the extent of tunneling on the Crosstown project, Metrolinx said its strict Can$8.4 billion budget will stretch to cover the cost of delivering two more transit projects totaling an extra 27km in length. The extra at grade sections are the Sheppard East and Finch West LRT routes (Fig 2).
Toronto axes 17km of tunnels - TunnelTalk, May 2012
New LRT plan would cut Eglinton tunneling - TunnelTalk, January 2011
Tender schedule for the 17.5km Crosstown LRT for the Toronto Metro, Canada - TunnelTalk, November 2011
Spadina Line extension commences in Toronto - TunnelTalk, May 2011

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