Yet another major construction milestone has been met for Metrolinx's Crosstown LRT, a 19-kilometre light rail transit line that includes a 10-kilometre stretch under Eglinton Avenue between Keele Street and Laird Drive. Almost 11 months since the launch of tunnel boring machines (TBMs) 'Don' and 'Humber' for the eastern tunnels—and a little over three months since the completion of the western tunnels by TBMs 'Dennis' and 'Lea'—Metrolinx has announced the completion of the tunnelling for the new line.

Tunnel boring machines 'Humber' and 'Don' at their September 2015 launch, image Tunnel boring machines 'Humber' and 'Don' at their September 2015 launch, image by Jack Landau

Since their September 2015 launch at the project's east launch shaft at Brentcliffe Road, the 'Don' and 'Humber' TBMs have travelled 3.3 kilometres west, arriving at the east extraction shaft at Holly and Eglinton, just east of Yonge. During the east tunnel drive, each of the TBMs installed 26,178 precast concrete tunnel segments, creating a total of 4,363 rings.

“Having our east tunnel boring machines reach Yonge Street is another exciting progress milestone for the Crosstown LRT project," said Bruce McCuaig, President and CEO of Metrolinx. "With tunnelling now complete for both the east and west segments of the line and construction underway on many underground stations, our vision of a modern, integrated transit line in Toronto that connects to three subway stations, three GO stations, and an UP Express station is even closer to becoming a reality.”

A video released earlier today by Metrolinx documents the east tunnel drive of TBMs, showing detailed views of the precast concrete tunnel lining segments being loaded into the east launch shaft via crane, before documenting their journey by rail through the tunnels, and subsequent installation.

With tunnelling now complete, construction activity is also well underway at the site of many future Crosstown stations. Shoring work is preparing the sites of Avenue, Keelesdale, and Laird stations for their excavation, while demolition work preps the sites of Chaplin, Fairbank, Forest Hill, Mount Pleasant, Mount Dennis, Oakwood, Science Centre, Eglinton, and Leaside stations. Once complete in 2021, the new line will include 25 stations and surface stops between Weston Road to the west and Kennedy Station to the east, connecting with GO Transit, three TTC interchange stations, and 54 surface bus routes.

Map of the Crosstown LRT's stations and stops, image courtesy of MetrolinxMap of the Crosstown LRT's stations and stops, image courtesy of Metrolinx

We will be sure to return with updates as work progresses on the Crosstown. In the meanwhile, additional information about the line's stations can be found in the dataBase files, linked below. Want to get involved in the discussion? Check out the associated Forum threads, or leave a comment in the space provided at the bottom of this page.