See the launch pad completed in preparation for Hurontario light rail transit push box

The Hurontario LRT project has now seen an important new element added in. Here’s why a ‘launch pad’ makes way for important rail work on an important section of the light rail transit route.

Three-two-one…

The ‘launch’ has launched.

The construction of the Hurontario light rail transit (HuLRT) project’s ‘push box’ is well underway. A push box is a large, hollow concrete box that will be pushed under the rail tracks at the Port Credit GO Station. This creates a tunnel under the tracks without disrupting rail service on the tracks above.

Constructing the push box it is a multi-step process that includes excavating the area south of the tracks which will be the future home of the southernmost stop of the Hurontario light rail transit line.

Don’t know much about the Hurontario LRT project, but want to learn more? Just go here to find the official project page.

Earlier this year, crews completed a critical part of the process: the launch slab. The launch slab is the concrete platform that the push box will sit on top of and acts as a smooth level surface to push the box to its final position under the rail tracks.

Image shows the push box, which is made out of concrete.
A closer look at the construction of the Port Credit Launch Slab. (Metrolinx photo)

The launch slab is 0.3 metres thick, 23 metres wide and 53 metres long. It has a ‘thrust block’ at the southern end of it that will be used for leverage to push the box into place. The thrust block is a two-metre thick structure that is used to transfer forces during the pushing of the push box to the surrounding soil. In total, the launch slab is made of 900 cubic metres of concrete. That’s more than eighty concrete mixer truck’s worth.

GO Transit rail service not impacted

Crews are currently building the actual push box itself on top of the launch slab. This complicated process will take about three months and requires careful planning, but using this innovative method will ultimately save time and more importantly, will not disrupt GO train service. The push box is one of the many unique components that will allow the HuLRT to provide exceptional service to the surrounding communities.

Follow along for all push box updates by following the HuLRT project on Twitter.

Story by Erika D’Urbano, Metrolinx senior advisor for Capital Projects