LRT line in Mississauga not impacted by chaos with its sister project in Toronto: Metrolinx
Published April 28, 2023 at 11:56 am
Construction of a major light rail transit (LRT) line in east Mississauga will not be impacted by ongoing delays and other big issues plaguing its sister project in Toronto, the provincial agency overseeing both undertakings says.
Despite word, and controversy, the last few days in Toronto that the Eglinton Crosstown LRT project there is falling behind schedule yet again and without explanation, Metrolinx says the Eglinton Crosstown West Extension (ECWE) is not in danger of suffering the same fate.
“While the Eglinton Crosstown West Extension will connect seamlessly with (the Eglinton Crosstown LRT) when it’s in operation, it is a completely separate project,” a Metrolinx spokesperson said today (April 28) in an email to insauga.com.
When completed, the 9.2-kilometre ECWE will bring the Eglinton Crosstown LRT from Toronto west to Renforth Dr. in east Mississauga by 2030-31 and deliver some 37,000 daily rides to passengers.
A proposal to extend the ECWE an additional 4.7 kilometres from Renforth Dr. to Pearson Airport in Mississauga is also being strongly considered.
The Metrolinx spokesperson continued, noting the ECWE project is progressing on schedule.
“The Eglinton Crosstown West Extension is being delivered under separate contracts, the first of which was awarded to West End Connectors Construction for advance tunnel work, which is well underway and progressing according to schedule,” the spokesperson said. “The tunnel boring machines have already passed the halfway point of their journey, and headwall construction at future station and emergency exit building locations are also progressing.”
It was just over one year ago, on April 11, 2022, when the first of two massive tunnel-boring machines (TBMs) started digging its way from the eastern edges of Mississauga toward its west Toronto destination as work continued on the ECWE.
“Renny,” as the first TBM was named (the other is “Rexy”), has travelled more than 3.5 kilometres since then as it helps dig out the underground portion of the ECWE.
Meanwhile, “Rexy” has completed more than 2.8 kilometres of its subterranean trip after going into the ground last July.
Together, the TBMs have so far cleared more than half-a-million tonnes of earth and rock out of the way as they go about their daily chore of completing the key section of the LRT extension.
It’s been about a year since tunnelling on the Eglinton Crosstown West Extension started – let’s look back at Renny’s first few metres. #throwback #Etobicoke #Mississauga #torontotransit pic.twitter.com/VFiV0S2Gai
— Eglinton Crosstown West Extension (@EglintonWestEXT) April 19, 2023
Tunnel work is expected to take about 20 months, according to Metrolinx, putting things on track to be completed by the end of this year or early 2024.
“Once they reach their destination just west of Scarlett Rd. (Toronto), they will be dismantled and removed from the ground through an extraction shaft,” say officials with Metrolinx, adding part of Eglinton Ave. needs to be moved a short distance south to make way for the extraction shaft. “This shaft is also the portal for where the trains will transition between the tunnel and the elevated guideway.”
When finished, the ECWE will operate underground from Renforth Dr. in Mississauga to just west of Scarlett Rd. in Toronto, where it will then transition to a 1.5-km elevated section that runs east of Jane St. before heading underground again and connecting to the future Mount Dennis Station.
Metrolinx officials said recently that they’re taking steps to get the line up and running ahead of schedule.
While the ECWE remains on schedule for a 2030-31 opening to passengers, officials told residents at an ECWE open house in March that as they seek to keep construction noise to a minimum, they may be able to move the project along faster.
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