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Time for a tunnel to airport island?

Build Up

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Sorry if this has been already posted.

from the Globe and Mail online. Link:
http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/...rticle1167873/


Time for a tunnel to island airport?



Tenille Bonoguore and Jennifer Lewington

Friday, Jun. 05, 2009 03:43AM EDT

Seventy-two years after it was first sunk, the dream of an underwater tunnel connecting the mainland to the Toronto Islands is being floated again.

The Toronto Port Authority has asked for millions of the federal government's stimulus money to build a 120-metre pedestrian tunnel from the base of Bathurst Street to the Toronto City Centre Airport terminal, whisking people on moving walkways 27 metres underground.

It's an idea that has caught the imagination of city officials before. It was first proposed in 1935, as a $1-million project during the Depression. The idea divided the city, and was quashed by prime minister William Lyon Mackenzie King.

Toronto Island tunnel proposal 2009

Toronto Port Authority's proposal for a tunnel across the Western Gap (pdf)

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Sixty years later, then-mayor Barbara Hall resurrected the idea.Now, it's the TPA's turn. And the only thing blocking the project, the authority says, is a lack of cash. This time, estimated cost is $20-million to $40-million.

The tripartite agreement governing the airport allows for a pedestrian tunnel, says TPA chief executive Alan Paul. “We just need the money,†he said.

The current tunnel proposal “is no more and no less than an idea,†said TPA chair Mark McQueen.

It is not part of the port authority's capital works plan, and was belatedly added to a wish list for stimulus money the port authority submitted to Ottawa.

“If the federal government would like to proceed with a project of this nature, we'll be pleased to assist in its execution,†he said.
 

TOareaFan

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Sorry if this has been already posted.

from the Globe and Mail online. Link:
http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/...rticle1167873/


Time for a tunnel to island airport?



Tenille Bonoguore and Jennifer Lewington

Friday, Jun. 05, 2009 03:43AM EDT

Seventy-two years after it was first sunk, the dream of an underwater tunnel connecting the mainland to the Toronto Islands is being floated again.

The Toronto Port Authority has asked for millions of the federal government's stimulus money to build a 120-metre pedestrian tunnel from the base of Bathurst Street to the Toronto City Centre Airport terminal, whisking people on moving walkways 27 metres underground.

It's an idea that has caught the imagination of city officials before. It was first proposed in 1935, as a $1-million project during the Depression. The idea divided the city, and was quashed by prime minister William Lyon Mackenzie King.

Toronto Island tunnel proposal 2009

Toronto Port Authority's proposal for a tunnel across the Western Gap (pdf)

Download

Sixty years later, then-mayor Barbara Hall resurrected the idea.Now, it's the TPA's turn. And the only thing blocking the project, the authority says, is a lack of cash. This time, estimated cost is $20-million to $40-million.

The tripartite agreement governing the airport allows for a pedestrian tunnel, says TPA chief executive Alan Paul. “We just need the money,†he said.

The current tunnel proposal “is no more and no less than an idea,†said TPA chair Mark McQueen.

It is not part of the port authority's capital works plan, and was belatedly added to a wish list for stimulus money the port authority submitted to Ottawa.

“If the federal government would like to proceed with a project of this nature, we'll be pleased to assist in its execution,†he said.

There was some discussion on this in the Porter Airlines thread.....the irony of Mayor Miller's strategy of only making one application for stimulus funding (the streetcars) and that one being, clearly, a non-qualified project is that the Feds may, in their desire to put some money at work in Toronto, end up funding a project that the Mayor would hate/fight.....now that would be a bizarre political outcome!!!
 

AKS

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First a bridge, now a tunnel? Bridge is cheaper than a tunnel. They can't afford to build a bridge but they can afford a tunnel? Also what is the advantage to building the connection other than easier access for those who take porter? The usage would be low compared to the amount of people taking the boat from harbourfront. If any bridge is to be built, it should be to Centre Island.
 

Whoaccio

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First a bridge, now a tunnel? Bridge is cheaper than a tunnel. They can't afford to build a bridge but they can afford a tunnel? Also what is the advantage to building the connection other than easier access for those who take porter? The usage would be low compared to the amount of people taking the boat from harbourfront. If any bridge is to be built, it should be to Centre Island.

Well, the point is to benefit Porter (or, more technicly, YTZ) and replace the current ferry service. I'm not sure they are really pretending this is to serve Center Island. I also don't see how a 2km bridge to Center Island could be compared to a 200m tunnel.

I think it was Calatrava that proposed a funicular to Ellis Island from Lower Manhattan. That would be more practical than a super bridge to a park.
 

interchange42

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The feds shouldn't be giving the TPS a cent for this thing: Porter should be footing the bill. Toronto CIty Centre Airport has had enough taxpayer money over the years.

42
 

AKS

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Well, the point is to benefit Porter (or, more technicly, YTZ) and replace the current ferry service. I'm not sure they are really pretending this is to serve Center Island. I also don't see how a 2km bridge to Center Island could be compared to a 200m tunnel.

I think it was Calatrava that proposed a funicular to Ellis Island from Lower Manhattan. That would be more practical than a super bridge to a park.

So the city wants to use tax payer's money to pay for Porter's bridge/tunnel? They should pay for their own or finance if they really need one.

The 2km bridge to Centre Island at least would be useful since so many travel by boats to the island. I think there are more people who take the boat to Centre Island than people taking it to Porter. Building a 200m tunnel to porter wouldn't make much sense if not many people use it in the first place. Would you build a short subway line that few people use? Or a long LRT that many people will use?

If there's money, they should just pour it onto the DRL instead of wasting it.
 

Whoaccio

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So the city wants to use tax payer's money to pay for Porter's bridge/tunnel? They should pay for their own or finance if they really need one.
Well, I don't disagree, but its hardly like this would be unique in Canadian history. The Feds are asking for proposals to spend money on, and Porter is suggesting one. We are subsidizing cruise ships in the St. Lawrence for more than the proposed cost of this, so lets not bother pretending that by including a tunnel to an airport under a stimulus plan we are crossing some strange and dark Rubicon.

The 2km bridge to Centre Island at least would be useful since so many travel by boats to the island. I think there are more people who take the boat to Centre Island than people taking it to Porter. Building a 200m tunnel to porter wouldn't make much sense if not many people use it in the first place. Would you build a short subway line that few people use? Or a long LRT that many people will use?
You do see the inherent apples and oranges of this? I don't have data on TCCA's annual passenger volume, nor the various ferry services, but I doubt you're characterization of 'unused subway vs. crowded LRT' is entirely accurate. What I can say for certain is that there will never be a 2km bridge to Center island. Presenting it as an alternative to what Porter is asking for is a bit bizarre. You are aware that this megabridge would end up costing over a billion dollars, yes? Why bother compare it to a something that is 2-4% of the cost?
 

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Well, I don't disagree, but its hardly like this would be unique in Canadian history. The Feds are asking for proposals to spend money on, and Porter is suggesting one. We are subsidizing cruise ships in the St. Lawrence for more than the proposed cost of this, so lets not bother pretending that by including a tunnel to an airport under a stimulus plan we are crossing some strange and dark Rubicon.

There are a lot of proposals already for transit in the city and harbourfront requiring money as well and there isn't a guarantee there will be enough. Everyone is asking for money. They just dumped 10 billion into the auto bail out which will never been seen again. How much more money needs to be wasted? So they wasted money subsidizing cruise ships on St. Lawrence, it's okay to throw more money into porter's bridge?

You do see the inherent apples and oranges of this? I don't have data on TCCA's annual passenger volume, nor the various ferry services, but I doubt you're characterization of 'unused subway vs. crowded LRT' is entirely accurate. What I can say for certain is that there will never be a 2km bridge to Center island. Presenting it as an alternative to what Porter is asking for is a bit bizarre. You are aware that this megabridge would end up costing over a billion dollars, yes? Why bother compare it to a something that is 2-4% of the cost?

If we can't have bridges to centre island, we shouldn't have bridges to porter either. I say just leave them be. Dump the money into more useful projects that will benefit the mass.
 

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There are a lot of proposals already for transit in the city and harbourfront requiring money as well and there isn't a guarantee there will be enough. Everyone is asking for money. They just dumped 10 billion into the auto bail out which will never been seen again. How much more money needs to be wasted? So they wasted money subsidizing cruise ships on St. Lawrence, it's okay to throw more money into porter's bridge?
It may not necessarily be wasted. I assume the Feds will look at the benefits a fixed link could bring for the City and decide based on that. I personally can't say because I don't know Porter's passenger info or estimates. Most consultant reports thus far seem to indicate fixed link access would generate increased passenger volumes and, hence, economic benefits to the City. I get the feeling you aren't really opposed to government spending on infrastructure in general, but specifically don't want a link to the airport. Selective ultra-libertarianism isn't generally credible though.

If we can't have bridges to centre island, we shouldn't have bridges to porter either. I say just leave them be. Dump the money into more useful projects that will benefit the mass.
But the two aren't comparable, at all. I might as well say we can't have HSR until we build our own Moon Colony. As over the top as that sounds, a 2km bridge is proportionately more expensive relative to a 200m ped tunnel than NASA's planned Lunar Outpost relative to HSR.
 

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There are a lot of proposals already for transit in the city and harbourfront requiring money as well and there isn't a guarantee there will be enough. Everyone is asking for money. They just dumped 10 billion into the auto bail out which will never been seen again. How much more money needs to be wasted? So they wasted money subsidizing cruise ships on St. Lawrence, it's okay to throw more money into porter's bridge?

Well, that is not exactly true. The proposal that the port authority made is under the stimulus funds.....It turns out that the City of Toronto only made one proposal/application under this program and it has been rejected (the streetcars)......so, as I stated above, the Mayor's little political powerplay with the stimulus funds (his strategy seems to have been "I know it does not technically qualify but if it is the only chance they get to spend stimulus dollars in toronto they will bend the rules") might end up pushing funds towards other projects in Toronto sponsored by other groups (like TPA) and might end up making the Island Airport that he so despises more accessible for more people!
 

AKS

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It may not necessarily be wasted. I assume the Feds will look at the benefits a fixed link could bring for the City and decide based on that. I personally can't say because I don't know Porter's passenger info or estimates. Most consultant reports thus far seem to indicate fixed link access would generate increased passenger volumes and, hence, economic benefits to the City. I get the feeling you aren't really opposed to government spending on infrastructure in general, but specifically don't want a link to the airport. Selective ultra-libertarianism isn't generally credible though.

Not exact figures, but porter seems to have an estimate of 500,000 passengers.
http://www.canada.com/business/Porter+files+flight+plan/1541713/story.html

Toronto Islands have 1,225,000 visitors (not sure how old this stat is)
http://www.torontoharbour.com/toronto-islands.php

The article seems to say porter thinks they can double their passenger numbers. Well, this remains to be seen if they can or not. It would be better to "wait and see" than jump in and build something that might prove to be a waste. I've passed by porter area before and they don't seem too busy. Maybe not many flights at the time. But anyhow, unless the number of passengers do double, I don't see the value in it.

I still think stimulus money can be better spent elsewhere that needs more immediate change.
 

kEiThZ

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I don't think people need to get worked up about this proposal. For it to qualify as stimulus, the city needs to pitch in. I doubt Miller would hand over a penny to any link that would help the Island airport survive.

And I think Porter will be fine without it. They've got that new ferry coming. Perhaps, the people who might suffer the most are the unfortunate folks who live near the bottom end of Bathurst who will have to put up the traffic that might well have been on the Island if there was a fixed link there.
 

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