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Toronto’s Eglinton Crosstown nearly halfway complete


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January 15, 2020 by Megan Hoegler

An underground Crosstown tunnel. More than half of the new LRT line runs below street level. PHOTO: Metrolinx

Toronto’s Eglinton Crosstown light rail transit line will reach its half way point of construction early this year.

Construction on the new Eglinton line, which will span 19 kilometres across the city, began in March 2016 and is part of Metrolinx’s wider regional transportation plan. The big-ticket infrastructure project is expected to cost around $10 billion and is scheduled to reach completion in 2021.

So far, 23,000 metres of track has been laid for the Crosstown. When all is said and done, Metrolinx anticipates the project will consist of 46,000 metres of total track, the provincial agency said in a blog post Jan. 14.

Eglinton Crosstown map (image: Infrastructure Ontario)

The Crosstown will have 25 stations, connecting Eglinton and Mount Dennis and extending into Scarborough with its terminal stop at Eglinton and Kennedy. It features a 10-kilometre underground portion, between Keele Street and Laird Drive, and will connect to three subway stations, as well as bus routes and various GO Transit lines.

The projected ridership of the Crosstown is 5,500 passengers per hour in the peak period per hour by 2031, though it will be constructed to accommodate up to 15,000 passengers per hour in each direction.

More intersection construction is slated to be completed this year, along with several station stops and vehicle testing. Mount Dennis Station at the west end of the line is already nearing completion. Its interior will receive the finishing touches this year. Initial mining at Oakwood and Laird stations has also reached completion. These two underground stops, along with Avenue Station, are being built using the so-called new Austrian tunnelling method. The dozen other subterranean Crosstown stations are being built using traditional cut and cover tunnelling.

The Eglinton Crosstown preceded the GTA transit construction plans for new or extended subway lines in Toronto, announced in late 2019. All three levels of government have pledged to contribute to the $30 billion to advance construction on the Eglinton West Line, the Yonge North Subway Extension, the Ontario Relief Line and a three-stop Line 2 East Extension.