Meet the tunnelling team for the Eglinton Crosstown West Extension

Metrolinx continues to make progress on the four priority subway projects, including the 9.2-kilometre-long Eglinton Crosstown West Extension. Find how you can get involved below.

The community around the Eglinton Crosstown West Extension is getting the chance to learn more from the team constructing the tunnels for the project.

This evening (July 13), residents can join a virtual open house with the team from West End Connectors to learn more about how tunnels are being built and what to expect once tunnelling starts.

To give you some background, West End Connectors was awarded the contract to design, build and finance the tunnels for the Eglinton Crosstown West Extension this past May. The team from West End Connectors is a joint venture of three companies: Dragados Canada, AECON and Ghella Canada.

Once built, the Eglinton Crosstown West Extension will bring the Eglinton Crosstown LRT approximately nine kilometres further west, creating a continuous rapid transit line along Eglinton Avenue, from the east end of Toronto into Mississauga which will connect more people to more places and make it faster and easier for people to travel throughout the region.  

map of the Eglinton Crosstown West Extension project
Route map of the Eglinton Crosstown West Extension project. (Metrolinx image)

As part of the contract, West End Connectors will be building about six kilometres of tunnels, which will start at the tunnel launch site at Renforth Drive and continue to just west of Scarlett Avenue, where the tunnel boring machines will exit the tunnels.

The team has started prepping the launch shaft site at Renforth, which include installing safety fencing and signage, setting up works zones and delivering equipment and drill rigs.  

It’s expected that the tunnel boring machines will arrive on site early next year, where they will be assembled and then launched sometime in the spring.

tunnel boring machines going into the ground for the Eglinton Crosstown LRT
The two tunnel boring machines for the Eglinton Crosstown LRT starting to dig into the ground at one of the project’s portals. (Metrolinx photo)

Once they get going, each tunnel boring machine can tunnel 75 metres per week and remove 500 cubic metres of earth each day. Stay tuned for more information about a tunnel boring machine naming competition coming later this year.

The virtual open house kicks off tonight (July 13) at 6:30pm on the Metrolinx Engage website.   

Get more information on the Eglinton Crosstown West Extension project here.

Story by Kimberly Murphy, Metrolinx senior advisor, subways