The Crosstown is a 19-kilometre light rail transit line that will run under and along Eglinton Avenue through the heart of Toronto.
Steps to Constructing Crosstown's Stations
The Crosstown will span a great distance, which means each station will be constructed in a variety of different types of neighbourhoods, environments and other local conditions. As a result, our constructors have to apply different excavation and construction methodologies to accommodate the local conditions while building the stations along the line.
The Crosstown will have 15 underground stations and a 9-kilometre surface section with 10 stops along its 19-kilometre line. Since early 2016, Metrolinx’s constructor, Crosslinx Transit Solutions (CTS), has been working hard to prepare for and construct the Crosstown’s stations. By the end of 2016, most underground stations will be under construction.
Needless to say, constructing the Crosstown’s new stations is a complex process that requires careful planning, thoughtful coordination and hard work. There are three major construction methods being used to construct the Crosstown stations: cut-and-cover, mined and interchange.
Recognizing that each station is built in its own unique way, there are still common steps across the station builds:
1) Preparatory Work
Before we begin construction, preparatory work is required so sites are ready for construction activities. As we are building the Crosstown along a well-established street in Toronto, there is existing infrastructure we need to work around. Some of the preparatory work includes activities like noise and vibrations monitoring, soil condition and water level assessments, underground utilities marking, tree removal, street furniture removal and demolition.
2) Utilities Work & Shoring
The first official step of constructing the Crosstown is utilities work and shoring. There are many critical utilities – both underground and overhead – in and around our construction areas. Verifying, and in many cases relocating utilities is required.
Once this step is complete, construction can move forward with site excavation. Shoring – also known as installation of support for excavation – is an important step to secure the site so excavation work can take place safely. For the cut-and-cover method, this process also includes the shallow excavation and road decking work. In some instances, utility work will take place prior to shoring, and in other instances shoring and utility work can be done concurrently.
Once the shoring is installed, the crew is able to work under the roadway safely, excavating to a depth of 20 to 25 meters for the construction of the station box. This is where the rail tunnels, associated platforms and rail infrastructure will be housed. For the at-grade surface stops in the east the process is much the same, but excavation is much shallower. Additional supports will be installed as crews excavate to ensure safety. This part is more complicated, and thus takes longer to finish, at the Cedarvale, Eglinton and Kennedy Station sites where there are existing TTC subway stations. Depending on a variety of factors, excavation work can take anywhere between 17 to 36 months to complete.
Once excavation work is complete, architectural and building work can begin. Station boxes will be constructed underground. At Cedarvale and Eglinton Stations, the station boxes will be constructed below the existing TTC subway tracks. At Kennedy Station, the current station will be reconfigured and the Kennedy Station will provide access to the TTC, Crosstown and GO Transit. At mined stations, the station entrances will be constructed once the mechanical, electrical and architectural work begins.
When it's complete in 2021, the Eglinton Crosstown LRT line will change how the people of Toronto travel around their city. The Crosstown LRT will run right across the center of Toronto, from Kennedy Station in the east to Weston Road in the west. It’s anticipated that it will by up to 60% faster than bus service today.