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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