As reported on CTV News, after years of tunneling, Crosstown construction crews are set to tackle the most complex part of the project—carving out the path for the underground LRT five storeys below the two intersecting subway lines.
The new east-west light rail line will cross subway Line 1 at both Eglinton and Eglinton West stations. Engineers have spent years plotting how to dig below those existing lines while supporting the load of the tunnels and trains – and keeping the subway in service.
“Part of our responsibility will actually be to connect the two stations together so commuters can get off one and pick up the subway on the other,” said Stanley Hole, Crosslinx senior manager.
“Over the course of the last three years we’ve done a lot of engineering with a lot of expertise here in town and overseas.”
Crews will dig down eight storeys, but the existing subway line cannot shift more than a miniscule three millimetres in any direction or it could lead to TTC delays. With so little wiggle room, the undertaking must be incredibly precise.
Late last year, six large support piles were drilled 40 metres down to support the weight of the tunnel and trains. Sixteen weeks of extensive underpinning work is scheduled to begin at the end of June.
Experts will install huge steel girders along the belly of the tunnel structure to stabilize the load of Line 1. An excavator will then dig down and hydraulic supports will be inserted. Eventually the load overhead will be shifted to the massive steel beams that will be threaded through the chambers.
The light rail line is expected to be ready to ride by Sept. 2021.
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