Night work resumes on Lakeshore East Rail Corridor between Woodbine Avenue to Warden Avenue

After a brief pause, construction is ramping back up between Woodbine Avenue and Warden Avenue. Starting this week, crews will resume building two retaining walls on the south side of the rail corridor, between Norwood Road and Victoria Park Avenue. It’s part of the Lakeshore East Rail Corridor Expansion project that will support future service increases on the GO line. Have a look at the upcoming work.

The Lakeshore East Rail Corridor is used to seeing a lot of activity – now the action is all around the stretch of tracks that constantly carry GO Transit customers.

Earlier this year, crews performed earth moving and sub-ballast installation before taking a brief pause between Woodbine Avenue and Warden Avenue. Installing sub-ballast absorbs vibrations and considerably reduces noise. Starting this Thursday (Sept 16) construction resumes, including overnight work to build two retaining walls in the corridor. The retaining walls will be built between Norwood Road and Victoria Park Avenue.

The construction supports GO Expansion and completing this work will enable the future addition of a fourth track and electrification infrastructure on the Lakeshore East line. Electrification is a key part of building a quieter, faster, more efficient network across the region. The new fourth track will improve journey times for all transit trips on the Lakeshore East Corridor, improve reliability and deliver more service within the city of Toronto.

Construction occurs at night when trains are not running to keep crews safe. To minimize disruptions, crews will reduce the idling of non-essential vehicles and machinery. Vehicles will not back up where possible, to reduce the beeping noise from reverse operations. Noise and vibration monitoring will also be installed at the construction sites. These and other measures to reduce the noise will be implemented as much as possible throughout the day and night.

Image shows a tractor at work
Earlier this year, crews made progress on site and moved earth between Main Street and Victoria Park Avenue. (Metrolinx photo)

Residents will notice more vehicles and equipment in the area. Crews will continue to use Norwood Road and the Loblaws parking lot at 50 Musgrave to access the rail corridor. Concrete trucks will be used to deliver concrete to the site which gets placed in the caisson. Dump trucks help move dirt to, from or around the site. Dozers push and shape dirt and rollers compact the earth into the ground. Drill rigs will be used to install the piles in the ground.

Crews installed sub-ballast to help reduce noise and vibration from future train service – between Woodbine Avenue and Main Street. (Metrolinx photo)

The two pile and lagging retaining walls on the south side of the rail corridor will be built on the east and west of Main Street. Retaining wall eight is approximately 520 metres long and runs from east of Ted Reeve Drive to Dengate Road. Retaining wall nine is approximately 90 metres long and runs from Enderby Road to Main Street.

The pile and lagging wall construction process includes earth moving, drilling piles (vertical), caisson installation (structures necessary to pump out water/moisture to create suitable working conditions for retaining wall works), lagging installation (horizontal material of the wall to hold back the earth) and then some more earth moving.

The retaining walls carry and support the weight of the ground, where there is a difference in ground elevation and minimize the width of the future rail corridor. They are designed to hold up soil and earth to stabilize uneven ground adjacent to the rail corridor.

The work for retaining walls eight and nine will occur day and night (24 hours a day), Monday to Friday and anticipated completion by fall 2022. This work will allow a fourth rail track to operate, while minimizing the need for land outside of the existing rail corridor.

Image shows a map.
Access routes for retaining wall eight and nine on Musgrave Street and Norwood Road. (Metrolinx image)

“Metrolinx recognizes construction in communities and alongside neighbourhoods is disruptive, especially at night,” said Adrian Martins, Metrolinx community relations specialist.

“We are implementing measures to keep the noise down as best as possible and our team is available for questions every step of the way as we build this important infrastructure.”

Work on these retaining walls is part of the Lakeshore East Rail Corridor Expansion project in Toronto, which includes grading, retaining walls, constructing a new culvert and bridge widening to accommodate a future fourth track. By building on what is there today, Metrolinx can improve infrastructure that will deliver faster, two-way, all-day, 15-minute service on core segments of the network.

For the latest information on what’s happening in your area, register for the weekly electronic newsletter at metrolinx.com/lakeshoreeastrailcorridor and follow the team on Twitter @GOExpansion. Questions and concerns will be answered by community relations staff and can be reached at TorontoEast@Metrolinx.com 

Story by Teresa Ko, Metrolinx senior advisor