Giant, friendly mechanical beasts have provided much of the digging power to make this centerpiece stop a future reality. See the engineering science, and world-class ingenuity, in the latest station profiled in our continuing Crosstown LRT tour.
When complete, the Eglinton Crosstown LRT project will be a clean and modern example of effortless city transit. You’ll step on and off while covering as much as 19 kilometers without a sweat.
But to get there from here, it’s taken the remarkable crews of our building partners at Crosslinx Transit Solutions (CTS) – as well as huge and powerful machines – willing to get down and dirty, a hard metre at a time.
Located at the foot of Allen Road, Cedarvale Station will be an underground station, featuring an interchange with the existing Eglinton West subway station, for a seamless transition to the TTC’s Line 1 Yonge-University.
The station is being designed from the subterranean levels up as a local hub. In fact, the Cedarvale name itself was used to align it with the name of the surrounding community. And if movement by CTS workers is Herculean now, it’ll become kinetic once the light rail transit vehicles begin to pull into the finished station – with its four entrances, as well as 80 indoor and 40 outdoor bicycle parking spots.
Cedarvale saw construction early on when excavation started for the extraction and launch site of two tunnel boring machines (TBM) – named Dennis and Lea – in 2013.
Tunnelling began that same year at Black Creek Drive before the mighty TBMs made it to the existing subway station almost four years later. But what do you do once a TBM reaches a point where it needs to stop because a TTC subway is in the way? You have to move those dirt moving workhorses.
Remember the claw, or rather gantry crane, we described during our tour of the Oakwood Station? (If you missed it, click here to visit that station.) On April 18, 2015, the TBMs were lifted out of the site just west of Allen Road and relaunched to the site just on the other side, east of Allen Road, over the TTC subway line. Dennis and Lea proceeded to make their way from Allen Road all the way to Yonge Street.
Today, components of the station are being built in the TBM extraction and launch shafts. This year, sections of the existing subway station will be underpinned and supported all while the existing TTC service continues above. Think of a giant cradle supporting the existing TTC line while LRT construction happens below. We’ll take a more, comprehensive look at underpinning once we reach Eglinton Station. And yes, spoilers ahead, it is as technically cool as it sounds.
For now, construction for Cedarvale Station continues to ramp up as it gets closer and closer to its opening in 2021.
When that day happens, customers will be excused for forgetting the strength needed to move through the Earth to make those journeys possible. But with the dirt still fresh – much of it moved for the first time in human history – it’s worth standing back and admiring the effort.
If you want to see more of the journey taken by these massive machines, here’s something to bring you up to – their – speed. It’s our complete Tunnelling 101 primer. Just click here.
Next stop on our progress tour, Forest Hill Station. Click here to go to that next stop.
Story by Erika D’Urbano, Metrolinx communications specialist.