Brand new Bloomington GO Station will connect communities in York Region – almost two-thirds complete.
It started as a marshy bog.
Now a soggy Richmond Hill property is being given a more concrete existence as Metrolinx’s new GO Transit hub.
Bloomington GO Station is about 64 per cent complete, and starting to fill in shapes found in artist renderings of the facility.
By the time it’s completed in September of next year, Bloomington GO Station will have more than 1,000 parking spaces, most of which are in its three-storey parking garage.
Located on the southwest section of Highway 404 and Bloomington Road, the station will boast a full slate of customer amenities: bus loop, more surface parking, accessible parking, pick-up and drop-off area, seamless integration with York Region Transit, platforms with shelters from the elements, customer ticket and waiting areas, and retail space.
The project will earn a Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Gold certification for sustainable site development and energy efficiency. That certification speaks to a balance of a “comfortable and convenient customer experience with high performance levels for environmental sustainability,” says Chirag Shah, senior manager for Metrolinx’s Non-AFP Early Works group.
The three levels of the parking structure are now in place, as is the frame for the skylight entrance and glass atrium.
The contractor, Kenaidan Contracting Ltd., is currently pouring concrete for columns that will hold up the third level of the parking garage on the south side.
In other places, workers are installing the intricate grid of rebar that will support and give shape to the concrete second floor on the south side of the parking structure. It’s detailed, painstaking work.
The access roads, surface parking works and the columns that will support the platform canopy are nearly finished.
The three ramps for Highway 404 have been re-done to make it easier for customers to access the station from the highway.
The CN bridge over Bloomington Road has been replaced so it can now support train traffic, and the electrical and mechanical works have been roughed in.
Donna Muirhead, Metrolinx project coordinator at Bloomington, believes the positive customer impacts could reach far and wide.
“The station’s going to add some parking relief for customers who normally use Aurora GO or Gormley GO Stations, where the parking lots are always full in the early morning,” she says.
Muirhead adds that for those who live in Keswick, Sutton, even Mount Albert or Uxbridge areas, Bloomington might also prove to be a better option.
Building in a marshy area is not easy. Crews had to dig three times deeper than originally expected in order to hit solid ground and lay a proper structural foundation.
The concrete work Kenaidan is doing is both detailed and massive.
“It’s probably one of the best jobs I’ve seen in terms of the architectural quality of the concrete,” says Scott Brazeau, Kenaidan’s site supervisor who oversees construction at Bloomington.
It’s precise work that has defied the seasons and weather.
“We’re running six days a week now – maybe 60 or 70 hours a week,” Luke Walsh, Kenaidan’s lead labour foreman, explains. “We do a lot of work in the summer, but also in the winter, we’re working non-stop. We poured most of the concrete you see now over the winter.”
Muirhead says progress is taking shape, noting: “You can start to see the light at the end of the tunnel, that we’re almost there.”
Crews are working to have all concrete work done by this winter. Their task is to deliver the project on-time, with a target of Fall 2020.
“For us, it’s all about making sure we deliver world-class infrastructure with the best amenities for our customers,” says Mohamed Alkoka, Metrolinx’s project director for Bloomington.
“If they’re happy, then we’ve done our job.”
Story by Nick Faieta, Metrolinx senior communications advisor.