Video: See how new QEW underpass for Mississauga light rail transit line was made
Published November 14, 2022 at 4:22 pm
Work on a $1.4-billion Hurontario light rail transit (LRT) line that will run from south Mississauga to Brampton has hit a major milestone with the installation of a new underpass at the QEW.
“After 55 hours of around-the-clock work, the Hazel McCallion Line has reached a new milestone,” officials with Metrolinx, the provincial agency heading up the massive project, said in a news release today (Nov. 14).
Project leaders say the work was completed the weekend of Oct. 28-31 using an innovative new technique described as a first in Ontario and one that significantly reduced the work time and associated traffic impact.
Metrolinx officials say the installation of the Hurontario St./QEW underpass is a major part of the Hazel McCallion Line, an 18-kilometre LRT route expected to open to passengers in fall 2024.
Project leaders provided a time-lapse video (see below) of the huge job as it unfolded over parts of four days.
“The process involved using hydraulic jacks to push a large concrete structure, or ‘push box,’ weighing more than 6,000 tonnes into place,” a Metrolinx spokesperson said in the news release. “The QEW push box will be a permanent underpass for northbound Hurontario traffic, allowing space for the Hazel McCallion Line tracks through the existing underpass along with the southbound Hurontario traffic.”
Essentially, the “push box,” a large and hollow concrete “box,” was pushed into place to form the new underpass.
Importantly, Metrolinx officials note, the new technique was used to save time.
“The box (was) pushed over 55 hours through the QEW, which is a record timing,” said Rhythm Vyas, a project coordinator at Mobilinx, constructor of the Hazel McCallion Line. “Without these innovative methods, construction of the underpass, in my estimate, would have taken over at least one-and-a-half years and been significantly more disruptive to traffic.
“This push box infrastructure (was) the first of its kind to be pushed through a highway in Ontario,” Vyas added.
“By building the new passageway under an active highway, crews were able to keep traffic moving by diverting traffic to two lanes in each direction onto the off- and on-ramps at Hurontario before returning to the highway. This method significantly reduced the impact to QEW traffic,” the Metrolinx spokesperson said.
When completed, the Hazel McCallion Line will run from Port Credit GO station in south Mississauga to Brampton. It will feature 19 stops along the way and if City of Mississauga officials get what they want, the “transit loop” that would serve people living in highrises in the city’s downtown core will once again be part of the project.
In addition to recent work on utilities, crews working on the LRT have also been focusing on completing tasks around two major creeks in Mississauga in an effort to prevent devastating local floods in the future.
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