The new rail bridge at Rutherford GO will allow customers to travel above traffic in the comfort of their GO train seat. There is still a lot of work to do and workers are using several engineering techniques to get the job done properly. This new infrastructure is part of Rutherford GO Expansion and Metrolinx wants to share what the construction crews have been up to.
Great progress is being made to get GO Transit customers moving in Vaughan.
Right now Rutherford GO station is undergoing a major rebuild. When it’s done, transit users will benefit from a new station building, more parking and even improved vehicle traffic around the station.
If you’ve been driving near the station lately, you’ll notice major construction is going on right near the tracks on Rutherford Road, the main reason for this work is to start separating the tracks from the road and build what’s known as a grade separation. Metrolinx contractors will be lowering Rutherford Road under the rail corridor.
When construction of the underpass finishes in the first half of 2022, Rutherford Road will re-open with a brand new look.
Rather than crossing over the train tracks, vehicles will be able to travel underneath new rail and pedestrian bridges, without having to stop for passing trains – a major traffic and safety improvement.
How is it getting done?
Earlier this year, the construction team began work on drilling and pouring concrete piles into the ground, which formed retaining walls to support the excavation of the new underpass. This temporary support system is important because it keeps the ground at the sides in place while digging deep into the earth.
Over 100,000 cubic metres of earth will be removed and either reused immediately on site or removed and treated for reuse on other construction sites. To give you an idea, this amount of earth is as big as approximately 18 Goodyear Blimps.
Caissons are installed in the same way as the piles, however, also include steel reinforcement. They are drilled to form the abutments and piers that support the rail deck and tracks sitting on top. While the retaining system was being drilled and poured, the track bed for the east track was also being laid in the rail corridor.
Once the caissons are finished, crews can then pour concrete for the rail deck and install the new east track.
Meanwhile, the crews a bit further south in the rail corridor will finish building the new east Rutherford GO Station platform that serves the new track. Once complete, all trains will be switched over to the east track, serving passengers from the east platform.
With the trains operating on the new east track, the crews can repeat the same process from the west side: drilling, excavating, and pouring the west side of the bridge for the west track.
Two tracks support GO Expansion for more frequent, all-day, two-way service and means getting customers where they need to be faster, better, easier.
What’s in it for me?
New pedestrian and cycling infrastructure is also in the works.
A new pedestrian bridge, just east of the new rail bridge, will connect the north-side communities to Rutherford GO Station. A landscaped, multi-use path on the south-side of Rutherford Road will connect the east community to the new east platform.
Interested in going for a stroll or taking the bike out? Pedestrians and cyclists will have a multi-use path under the rail bridge, elevated from the roadway, inviting a smooth journey as they pass Rutherford GO.
For more information on the Rutherford GO Station project, visit Metrolinx.com/Rutherford.
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Story by Teresa Ko, Metrolinx communications senior advisor