Lakeshore West bridge work nears completion

Stunning video and photos of bridge construction along the Lakeshore West Corridor show some incredible engineering feats and indicate service disruptions will soon be coming to an end.

They’ve been working around the clock on weekends to bring life to century-old bridges and transform rail corridors for future GO Transit service expansion.

Construction crews have made significant progress along Lakeshore West and, while nearing completion, have been delighted to see history before their eyes. The work has included the removal of a 107-year-old bridge span, the rehabilitation of existing bridge piers and other parts that are more than 130 years old. For many of the crew members, the work is like a time capsule.

“It is fascinating to see how bridge construction methods have changed over time” said Michael Szewczyk, a project coordinator who’s been involved with the bridge work on the Lakeshore West Corridor.

For Szewczyk and his team, the deteriorating state of the bridges meant they had to install 2,400 feet of concrete tie track on the bridges and their approaches. The work is necessary for long-term improvement to the rail bridge infrastructure in the Greater Toronto Hamilton Area.

“It is always a bit sad to see the end of such a historic piece of infrastructure, but as we all know, nothing lasts forever.”

Of course, the work doesn’t come without challenges. Customers have had to endure weekend service reductions, while crews have to deal with challenges that are both technical and weather related.

Two more weekends are scheduled for the work and, while the success of the project boils down to its on-time completion, for the crews involved, it’s about the lessons learned and the memories created.

“This project has highlighted the success that can be achieved with good cooperation and communication between all members of the team,” Szewczyk said.

“I have been very happy with the work everyone has achieved to date,” he said. “One of the most memorable moments has to be the first liftoff of the first old span being removed and the final touchdown of the last span.”

The work will ensure the longevity of the tracks for decades to come – and memories that will last a lifetime for Szewczyk’s crew, too.

You can read more about the Lakeshore West Bridge work here: http://www.metrolinx.com/en/greaterregion/projects/lakeshorewestbridges.aspx

Story by Nitish Bissonauth, Metrolinx bilingual spokesperson, media relations and issues specialist.