New rail bridge opening at Milliken GO makes way for next phase of construction

Hard work pays off as construction crews finish a new rail bridge at Milliken GO. With permanent rail tracks installed and all the right pieces in place, trains are now running over the new bridge. Here’s latest information on the big things happening on the Stouffville Steeles Avenue East Underpass and Milliken GO project.

With a lot of construction happening, sometimes big changes can appear right under our noses.

The next time you take the GO Train at Milliken GO,  you will have just crossed over a major construction milestone, perhaps without even knowing it.

So now that you know, take a quick peek out the window of the train and you’ll see a brand new rail bridge.

What does it all mean? Here’s a look at how the project came together and why it will help GO customers going forward.

New Rail Bridge Deck

Since spring 2019, trains have been running on a temporary diversion track to allow for construction of the new rail bridge at Milliken GO. Crews used ‘top-down’ style construction, which involved constructing the bridge structure prior to completing the majority of the excavation for the underpass of the bridge.

Construction for the new rail bridge included installing the bridge pier, completing the bridge abutments, and constructing the bridge deck on ground level.

Construction crews waterproofing the bridge deck.
Construction crews waterproofing the bridge deck. (Metrolinx photo)

Just recently, the EllisDon crew completed construction of the new railway bridge deck – a significant milestone on the project.

Shifting Trains onto the New East Track

Over the October 16th weekend, crews implemented a major track closure at Milliken GO which allowed for decommissioning the temporary diversion track and shifting trains to the new east track.

As of October 19, customers passing through Milliken GO are traveling on the permanent new east track atop of the new rail bridge. Milliken GO customers will board their trains from a new temporary platform adjacent to the previous platform. The previous track platform will be closed so construction on the new west platform can continue. For more information on how this change will affect customers, please visit our Milliken GO construction page.

The finished concrete surface of bridge deck.
The finished concrete surface of bridge deck. (Metrolinx photo).

With this accomplishment under their tool belts, construction crews can now move onto achieving the next set of milestones. Completing phase 1 of the roadway excavation is next, which includes the area underneath the bridge deck.

Crews will also work on the remaining utilities which includes removing and decommissioning a large watermain on Steeles Avenue East. All of this happens while trains seamlessly travel overhead.

Large diameter water main install underneath live road traffic. (Metrolinx photo).
Large diameter water main install underneath live road traffic. (Metrolinx photo).

Improvements at Milliken GO have been progressing well and the shift to the new east track alignment allows crews to advance work at the station.

With more room to work, crews are now moving forward with building the new track platforms. Other passenger upgrades at Milliken GO Station will include pedestrian tunnels, elevators, weather canopies and lighting.

Pedestrians on Steeles Avenue East will have safer access crossing the road and getting to Milliken GO via stairwells and elevators that connect to the pedestrian bridge.

With two tracks, Metrolinx is one step closer to providing more frequent all-day, two-way GO service on the Stouffville line.

Get a closer look at the “top-down” construction method used to build the new rail bridge here.

For more information visit Metrolinx.com/Stouffville or sign up to get updates by emailing TorontoEast@metrolinx.com.

Story by Teresa Ko, Metrolinx communications senior advisor