VIDEO: A bird’s eye view of tunnel work on huge Mississauga light rail transit project


Published February 17, 2022 at 4:54 pm

Port Credit GO push box video
A look down on the ‘push box’ as a GO train moves along a nearby track. (Metrolinx image)

Those overseeing the massive Mississauga-Brampton Hurontario light rail transit (LRT) project figure if a picture is worth a thousand words, then a video is invaluable in helping people visualize exactly how important tunnelling work is being done.

Metrolinx, the provincial agency in charge of the huge project, released a two-minute video today (Feb. 17) showing a bird’s eye view of prep work for tunnelling to be done at Port Credit GO station in the coming weeks and months.

The drone footage, which can be viewed below, shows crews working on what’s known as the “push box” section of the project, the elaborate tunnelling system needed to dig out under the tracks.

In what Metrolinx describes as “the push before the actual push,” crews recently began advance work on the “push box.”

“…the push box is a large, hollow concrete box that will be pushed underneath the Lakeshore West rail tracks at the Port Credit GO station,” Metrolinx says. “This will create a tunnel under the rail tracks, allowing the future…line to move without disrupting rail service on the tracks above.”

The pre-push activity, similar to the actual push, was carried out through a “jacking operation.” The push box has been constructed on a launch slab. The launch slab is the concrete platform that the push box will sit on top of and acts as a smooth level surface to push the box to its final position under the rail tracks.

The launch slab is designed to minimize friction during the push.

Hydraulic jacks are being installed in-between the push box and the thrust block, the piece that will carry out the pushing. The thrust block is a two-metre thick structure that is used to transfer forces during the pushing of the push box to the surrounding soil.

When completed in fall 2024, the 18-kilometre Hurontario LRT will take passengers between Port Credit GO in the south all the way north into Brampton.

Along the way, there will be 19 stops on what will be known as the Hazel McCallion Line.

As the lone underground stop along the line, Port Credit GO saw a significant amount of prep work in 2021.

In total, work crews removed 36,000 cubic metres of earth from the Port Credit site in preparation for the tunnel to be built under the rail tracks and the station itself.

Then, work on the “push box” was started, the huge hole was dug, concrete slabs were poured and a “thrust block” was built.

Now, the next step is to push the tunneling system through and lay the new tracks, project officials say, adding the actual “push” will take place in the coming months.

Ontario Premier Doug Ford announced earlier this week in Mississauga that, when completed, the public transit route will be known as the Hazel McCallion Line.

McCallion, who turned 101 this week and whose run as Mississauga mayor from 1978 to 2014 turned her into a Canadian political icon, was on hand for the announcement.

The Port Credit GO site isn’t the only place along the route getting prepped for “push” work this year.

Crews will start working on a second “push box” in 2022 at Hurontario St. and the QEW.

Metrolinx says that work will create a new northbound underpass to allow the light rail vehicles (LRVs) to travel underneath the QEW.

Meanwhile, Mayor Bonnie Crombie and the City of Mississauga received a bit of a gift this week related to the project.

In unveiling the Hazel McCallion Line, Ford voiced support for once again including a City Centre loop in the huge project.

The loop, initially included in Hurontario LRT plans to service residents/passengers who live in the highrises around Square One, was pulled off the table two years ago by the Ontario government in a cost-cutting move.  

Crombie and City councillors have been pressing the Province ever since to reconsider, arguing the area’s population is growing quickly and will need more convenient transit service both in the short- and long-term. 

Other work on the Hurontario LRT expected to take place in 2022 includes:

  • efforts to further protect the 100-year-old Mary Fix Creek in central Mississauga. Work crews will be upgrading the nearby landscape to preserve the creek and nearby communities, and doing work to reduce the potential for flooding
  • existing bridges at Port Credit GO station are being replaced
  • the Operations and Maintenance Storage Facility near the Mississauga-Brampton border, to be the hub of the new line, will have LRT tracks laid as it nears completion (facility will house a repair shop, storage area and rail vehicle cleaning services)
  • construction of the Hwy. 403 flyover will begin. This involves building a bridge or overpass that crosses over the 403. This will help improve traffic flow by separating the LRT from regular vehicle and bus traffic at one of Mississauga’s busiest interchanges. Will also allow LRT riders to access bus connections on Rathburn Rd.
  • crews will begin laying the first set of tracks for the LRT in north Mississauga

When completed, the Hurontario LRT will link to GO stations at Port Credit and Cooksville, the Mississauga Transitway, Square One GO Bus Terminal, Brampton Gateway Terminal, and key MiWay and Brampton Transit routes. 

The initiative is part of Metrolinx’s long-term vision for an integrated, sustainable transit network connecting the Greater Toronto and Hamilton areas. 


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