A year in the life of the Hurontario Light Rail Transit Project – Why 650 football fields is an impressive accomplishment

We’ve been tracking every major construction and project hurdle on the Hurontario LRT route. And while some things stalled in 2020, the new transit project kept gaining momentum. Here’s what you might have missed.

We often talk about parts in these stories.

But as we end 2020, it’s time to bring some things together, while exploring how far the Hurontario Light Rail Transit (HuLRT) project has come, and where it’s headed.

First, some background.

 Preparatory works for the HuLRT started three years ago – long before visible changes could be seen on the roadways.  It started with site investigations, surveying the corridor to evaluate underground conditions and understanding the utilities present.

A tractor digs up a median.
Crews working to remove medians along the corridor during the summer. (Metrolinx photo)

Metrolinx has been steadily working along the corridor, moving utilities to make way for a new transit line. This significant undertaking involved coordinating and executing 46 projects, including the relocation of approximately 22 km of hydro cable, 11 km of new gas mains and 28 km of new telecom cables along the street side. These utility relocations are complete and combined equal about the length of 650 football fields.

A machine drills holes into a roadway.
Site investigations during early works included borehole drilling. Here, crews are prepping for drilling in Brampton. (Metrolinx photo)

Major construction began last spring for the Operations, Maintenance and Storage Facility (OMSF) in Brampton.  Activities included borehole investigation, demolition of a vacant residential farmhouse, removal of a septic tank and underground water cistern, removal of miscellaneous debris, trees, and general site grading and fencing. Crews also began installation of protective environmental measures which included a water runoff pond.

Crews remove medians
Medians are removed near Hwy. 401. (Metrolinx photo)

Other construction included development of an access haul road, a temporary parking lot, a laydown area, and office trailers. Site fill and removal of debris was also carried out onsite.

In the summer, major construction on the roadway started for the project. Residents of both Mississauga and Brampton would have noticed crews removing medians from the centre of Hurontario Street. The raised strip of land between opposing traffic lanes was removed and leveled with the road’s surface. By removing medians, traffic lanes are able to shift as crews worked on the curb lanes to make room for the new HuLRT guideway. Once the medians were removed, temporary traffic signals were installed to manage the flow of traffic as construction continues.

Crews work on the bridge.
Crews work on widening the overpass at Hwy. 407 and Hurontario. (Metrolinx photo)

Fast forward to the Fall of 2020 and crews have constructed foundational columns at the 407-overpass to support future road widening. The expansion will widen the overpass, adding two additional traffic lanes and the LRT right of way to ensure traffic flows smoothly over the 407.

Continue following Metrolinx News as we document the journey to building better transit connections in Mississauga and Brampton in 2021.

Because while there was a lot taken care of in 2020, the next 12 months will see HuLRT moving at a fast pace.

Story by Erika D’Urbano, Metrolinx communications senior advisor