WATCH: Crosstown LRT tunnel boring machines pulled from underground
The Eglinton Crosstown light rail transit project hit a major milestone today!
Tunnelling is complete after three years and the 400 ton tunnel boring machine has been pulled from the underground.
"To do it safely we have to take them apart and transport them in sections. We start with the first section, today, it's the cutting boring head," explains Anne Marie Aikins with Metrolinx. "Half of the crosstown, 11 kms of it, is a subway, it's underground. They have to build holes underneath for the subway to operate. That's what they have been doing. They've done a huge amount of work and now we're ready to bring them out of the ground."
The machine will be hoisted onto a flatbed truck tonight and transported to a storage facility.
"The next part of this is the rails they they have to put on, they also have to have the cross passages, we have 15 underground stations and another 10 above ground stations that we're doing that we've started the pre-work for. There is a lot of work underway and it's all been happening at the same time. I know it's completely disruptive for neighbourhoods but to build a project of this magnitude...it's the biggest in Canada, one of the largest in North America, in a highly urbanized, congested environment, it's going to be disruptive," Aikins adds.
She says the $5.3 billion project is on time and on budget.
It is scheduled for completion by the end of 2021.