Metrolinx is as excited as a kid on Christmas morning to see two iconic pieces of the tunnel boring machines arrive at the tunnel launch site after their journey across the Atlantic Ocean. Metrolinx News has images from the big moment, check them out.
Schwanau. Antwerp. Hamilton. And now they’ve made it to their final destination in Mississauga, at the tunnel launch site for the Eglinton Crosstown West Extension.
Last week, we saw the tunnel boring machines (TBMs) arrive at the port in Hamilton and get unloaded from a massive ship.
To make their way to the site at Renforth Drive and Commerce Boulevard, they were loaded onto trucks and driven very carefully along the 60-kilometre route.
The cutter heads, each weighing about 65 tonnes and measuring about 6.5 metres in diameter, are so large they need a police escort to get to the site safely.
What happens in 2022?
The rest of the TBM parts, travelling from Europe in shipping containers, are scheduled to arrive in January. Once all the parts are on site, the team will start the process of assembling these machines, a process that takes months.
Once they are assembled, they’ll be lowered into the ground to begin the big dig.
The team has been working hard to get the launch shaft ready for these massive machines – that very large hole is 80 metres long, 20 metres wide and 17 metres deep. That’s big enough to hold about 10 Olympic-size swimming pools worth of water.
The TBM naming contest for the twin diggers for this project also closed this week.
Stay tuned in early 2022 for the announcement of the winning names.
Story by Kimberly Murphy, Metrolinx senior advisor, Subway Program