Second tunnel more than halfway finished on new Mississauga LRT line


Published May 2, 2023 at 1:33 pm

The two tunnel-boring machines clear about 2,000 tonnes of earth and rock each day as they dig out route for light rail transit line. (Photo: Metrolinx)

The second of two tunnels being dug out for a massive new light rail transit (LRT) route being built in east Mississauga has now passed the halfway mark to being completed.

Project leaders said last Friday via social media that less than 10 months after going into the ground last July to begin its work on the Eglinton Crosstown West Extension (ECWE), the second of two huge tunnel-boring machines (TBMs) reached the halfway point in its underground journey.

As of April 28, the second TBM had travelled 3.06 kilometres to reach the midway point.

The first TBM, which began its duty in April 2022, reached its halfway mark of 3.15 kilometres in late February.

The two TBMs are clearing underground paths in which the LRT trains will eventually travel part of the 9.2-kilometre route linking east Mississauga with parts of west Toronto.

Tunnel work, which began in April of last year, is expected to take about 20 months, according to project overseer Metrolinx, with the TBMs travelling eastward at a rate of 10 to 15 metres per day.

That puts completion of both tunnels on target for late this year or early 2024.

Shipped from Germany in December 2021, the TBMs–named Renny and Rexy by public vote–will carve out a significant portion of the ECWE that, when completed by 2030-31, will bring the Eglinton Crosstown LRT from Toronto west to Renforth Dr. in east Mississauga.

proposal to extend the ECWE an additional 4.7 kilometres from Renforth Dr. to Pearson Airport in Mississauga is also being strongly considered.

The ECWE is also expected to cut greenhouse gas emissions by some 39,000 tonnes each year, project leaders say.

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.

The ECWE remains on schedule for a 2030-31 opening to passengers, according to Metrolinx, despite word last week that its sister project in Toronto, the Eglinton Crosstown LRT, is significantly behind schedule.

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