Rutherford GO sees a massive new bridge created this weekend – See how it’ll be done

Crews, with help from a large crane, will install a new pedestrian bridge that connects commuters from the fourth-storey of the new parking garage to the future east platform. We’ll lead you through, and over, what has been happening at Rutherford GO to prepare for this major piece of engineering work. As well, Barrie line travel plans may be impacted.

Weekend to-do list: Lift the weight of about 70 average cars.

While your plans to get your house ready for the changing calendar may seem weighty, the effort may not compare to work taking place at Rutherford GO Station. Crews will mark an important milestone this weekend (Dec. 18-19) by lifting a 250,000-pound – that’s 113,398 kg – pedestrian bridge into place. Yes, that’s about the same as those 70 family automobiles.

This will impact certain trips on the Barrie line. To reduce impacts to train service as much as possible, temporary adjustments to the service schedule have been made, while coordinating various construction work along the Barrie corridor within the same timeframe.

For more information and to check schedules, visit gotransit.com or use triplinx.ca to plan trips. Metrolinx’s contractors have a small window of time to complete the lift and installation. This infrastructure will allow customers to access the future east rail platform from the new parking garage. This work is all part of GO Expansion and improving Rutherford Station, by building better station amenities, a new parking garage and access to future all-day, two-way frequent GO train service.

Image shows a large metal bridge, being held on a platform.
Ready and waiting – The Pedestrian bridge’s steel frame assembled on site prior to the lift. (Metrolinx photo).

Crews will be working overnight on December 18 to install the bridge. New connection points will also be bolted in place. The following day, the crane is disassembled and eventually removed from site.

In the months before the project, the pedestrian bridge was assembled on site. In addition to the structural steel frame, additional materials are also mounted when possible prior to the lift to make their installation easier, including floor and roof decking, drywall, handrail fixtures, plumbing and electrical.

Support structures have been constructed on both sides of the tracks ahead of time; the stair tower on the east side, which will also provide elevator access, and a bent support on the west side both support the load of the pedestrian bridge.

Before the lift, a pad was built on site to support the giant crane, located next to the tracks.

The crane is assembled a few days before the big lift and as the main star of the show, it has a big job to do. The bus loop at Rutherford GO will be temporarily relocated to the Reserved Parking lot from Thursday, Dec. 17 to Monday, Dec. 21 to allow additional space for the crane to be assembled and operate during the installation.

Customers will still be able to access the train platform through an entrance in the Reserved Parking lot. For a complete list of impacts including wayfinding during this time, please consult the Rutherford GO Station improvements page. The newly installed pedestrian bridge spans 56-metres over the tracks and is one of many important pieces of infrastructure that support an improved customer experience at Rutherford GO.

Image is a drone shot of the local community and parking garage.
Aerial view of new parking garage. (Metrolinx photo).

The bridge lift is a key achievement, bringing customers closer to a new state of the art Rutherford GO Station, with convenient new retail space and more parking spaces with other modern amenities.

When all is said and done, the new Rutherford GO Station and grade separation will improve connections to York Region transit, enhance access for pedestrians and cyclists as well as support future two-way, all-day train service.

For more information or to sign up for e-newsletter updates, just go here.

Story by Teresa Ko, Metrolinx senior advisor.