After three years of hard work, the Province of Ontario has announced the completion of tunnelling for the western leg of the Crosstown LRT project earlier today. The milestone was reached when tunnel boring machines (TBMs) Dennis and Lea, names chosen by Jason Paris—a moderator on the UrbanToronto Forum—to honour the Mount Dennis and Leaside neighbourhoods the line passes through, arrived at the west extraction shaft, just west of Yonge Street.

The tunnel now stretches 6,419 metres between Black Creek Drive and Yonge Street, lined with 4,279 rings of tunnel liner made up of 25,647 precast concrete segments. A video released earlier today by Metrolinx covers the journey of Dennis and Lea, and the inner workings of tunnel construction.

The TBMs now sit below the future western extraction shaft, which will be excavated at the site of Eglinton Station's original bus terminal. The terminal has sat dormant at the southeast corner of Duplex and Eglinton since being replaced by a more modern facility to the south in 2004. 

Overview of the west extraction shaft site, image by Jack Landau

On Eglinton east of Yonge Street, excavation of the east extraction shaft is already well underway at the intersection with Holly Street, as east TBMs Humber and Don push their way toward Yonge. Launched last September from a shaft between Brentcliffe Road and Leslie Street, TBMs Humber and Don have since tunnelled approximately 1.7 kilometres, with Don now at Hoyle Avenue and Humber following one block behind at Mann Avenue.

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

Once operational in September 2021, the Crosstown LRT will offer service up to 60 per cent faster than existing bus service. The line will include 25 stations and stops, including 12 underground stations between Keele and Laird, and will link to three interchange subway stations and 54 surface routes. By the tenth year of operation, the Crosstown is anticipating peak hourly ridership of approximately 5,500 passengers, daily ridership projected at 162,000, and an annual ridership in the range of 50 million passengers.

Eglinton Crosstown LRT route map, image courtesy of Metrolinx

We look forward to providing more updates on this large-scale infrastructure project as work progresses. In the meantime, 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.

Related Companies:  Crosslinx Transit Solutions, Daoust Lestage Architecture, GFL Environmental Inc., IBI Group, LEA Consulting, Metrolinx, NORR Architects, SvN, Toronto Transit Commission