A very rapid project – Hwy. 400 Bridge work sees huge effort over two weekends for Finch West LRT project

A project involving the Highway 400 crossing over Toronto’s Finch Avenue, saw weekend detours – and the patience of drivers and the local community. It also saw remarkable progress of replacing an entire major span for Toronto.

That was fast.

After two past weekends of work (June 12-15 and June 19-22) crews have replaced a major Highway 400 span at Finch Avenue, in Toronto. The job saw residents and motorists put up with alternative routes, but also a bit of construction magic, as a process that would normally have taken a good chunk of time, was cut down to a few very hot days.

Here’s the background on the project that’s part of the Finch Avenue West light rail transit project.

It all boiled down to using a ‘rapid bridge replacement’ (RBR) method. Constructor Mosaic Transit Group had already done a significant amount of work to prepare for the job.

Over the two weekends, the decks were moved into place on Highway 400 to form the new bridge spans. The RBR method helps reduce the number of traffic disruptions to motorists from years to two weekends.

Here are two photos that caught our eye after last weekend’s completion work.

During the weekends, crews used a self-propelled modular transporter – what the bridge is seen sitting on in the picture below – to move two old bridges out, and new ones in.

Image shows a large section of bridge being moved into place.

The new bridge moves into place, against a low Toronto sun. (Metrolinx photo)

And here’s an image you won’t see again for generations – a shot of Highway 400 without the bridge.

Image shows just the supports of the bridge.

After two very hot days, the team successfully moved the old bridge and installed the new one, with time to spare. The Highway 400 northbound bridge reopened Monday morning at 4:45 AM. (Metrolinx photo)

Check back in coming days, as we hope to have some time-lapse video of the project.

Story by Erika D’Urbano, Metrolinx senior advisor, Rapid Transit