Progress is being made on the construction of the Eglinton Crosstown LRT, the province's largest public transit construction project in more than half a century. The new rapid transit line will run approximately 19 kilometres along Eglinton Avenue and will include 25 stations. More than 10 kilometres, from the Black Creek in the west to past Brentcliffe Road in the east, will be underground. Yesterday morning, Minister of Transportation and Minister of Infrastructure Glen Murray was joined by Metrolinx President and CEO Bruce McQuaig and Eglinton-Lawrence MPP Mike Colle to update the public on the Crosstown's recent progress at the site of an extraction shaft now under construction at the Allen and Eglinton.

(L-R) Bruce McQuaig, Mike Colle, Glen Murray, image by Jack Landau

Tunnelling of the line has pushed over one kilometre eastward from the west launch site area near Black Creek Drive, and tunnel boring machines (TBMs) 'Dennis' and 'Lea' are now driving towards the extraction shaft being built at Allen and Eglinton, tunnelling through roughly 10 metres of earth and rock per day. After the TBMs are removed from the ground, they will be moved several hundred feet east and lowered into a new launch shaft to resume their push eastbound to Yonge-Eglinton station. While this move may seem complicated, it is necessary to allow the TBMs to pass over the TTC's Line 1 (Yonge-University-Spadina) without any service interruptions.

TBM extraction shaft on Eglinton Avenue west of Allen Road, image by Jack Landau

Further west on the line, construction of the headwalls, which will form the future underground station boxes, have been completed at Keele and Caledonia, and work has also begun on the future Dufferin and Oakwood stations. Construction has also commenced at the future tunnel boring launch site located east of Brentcliffe Road. 

Construction work on the west extraction shaft at Eglinton and Allen, image by Jack Landau

At a price of $5.3 billion, the Crosstown will be able to move 15,000 passengers per hour per direction after going in to service by 2020. "Our government is making progress on the biggest investment in public transit in the City of Toronto. The new Eglinton Crosstown LRT will help advance economic development and get residents and businesses to work, school and play faster than ever before", said Glen Murray, Minister of Transportation and Minister of Infrastructure.

Glen Murray (centre) updating the public on the Eglinton Crosstown LRT, image by Jack Landau

Since 2003, Ontario has invested more than $19.3 billion in public transit in Ontario, including $9.1 billion in GO Transit, and earlier this week, the government released its Moving Ontario Forward plan. This 10 year plan would invest $29 billion for priority infrastructure projects across the province such as public transit, roads, bridges and highways.

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