What does a new water-main look like? We’ll show you as work continues along the Hurontario Light Rail Transit route

Crews toiling around construction sites, such as the Hurontario LRT (HuLRT) line, are a common sight in urban areas. But for those living in the communities where workers and machinery are hard at it, it’s always interesting to know what’s happening behind the barriers and down into the pits. We often try to show you that perspective. In this case, the job involves a new water-main around the HuLRT. At first, the photos may not appear so captivating or cool – not when compared to combing over a new light rail vehicle or putting down tracks. But they do help to explain what’s going on and how it’s needed for the community. So let’s, well, dig in.

It’s a question you may never have really asked – what does a water-main look like?

We get that.

But a recent batch of construction photos from ongoing work along the Hurontario Light Rail Transit (HuLRT) route, reminded us that communities are often told about work on water-mains, but only a few professionals toiling away know what one looks like. As well as how to get at it.

Image shows a piece of heavy equipment.
Heavy equipment is used to dig into the ground, as well as help bring in sections of the water-mains. (Metrolinx photo)

Wet utility relocations are underway on the HuLRT route. That means trenches are being dug along the Hurontario corridor to accommodate the installation of a new water-main. When crews dig up a trench, they install a trench box to shore up the walls of the ditch to ensure the workers inside are always protected.

Again, perhaps you’ll look at the images and just shrug – we get that. But they do give an interesting perspective – most of us work in warm environments – of how awkward the work-space is that these crews navigate in. It’s confining and you have to know what you’re doing at all times.

In the series of images below, you can see workers are installing a restrained ‘tee’ on a 400 mm. water-main. The black object is called the ‘tee’ and is used to control the flow of the water. The top portion of the tee is referred to as the ‘arms’ and the bottom as the ‘leg’.

Since it’s a water-main, the work literally flows right into the nearby community.

Crews work on sections of the pipe.
Crews connect the pieces while working below street-level. (Metrolinx photo)
Crews work to secure a section of watermain pipe.
Heavy equipment is used to place sections of the pipe. (Metrolinx photo)
A worker works on the pipe while down in a tight hole.
A worker toils on a section of the pipe. (Metrolinx photo)

As well, if you have been travelling near Watline Avenue, then you may have seen one of many staging areas for the HuLRT. This one is being used for utility relocations. A staging area is an area near a construction site that is used as a temporary place to store material and equipment for the duration of the construction activities.

Supplies sit under snow along Hurontario.
Cold work – A look at needed supplies, waiting under a blanket of snow next to Hurontario Street. (Metrolinx photo)

Story by Noelle Wannamaker, Metrolinx community relations and issues specialist.