The Government of Ontario and Metrolinx announced tunnelling of the western underground portion of the Eglinton Crosstown West Extension is finished, marking a significant milestone in the rapid transit line that will connect communities from the east end of Toronto to Etobicoke and Mississauga.

“As the Greater Toronto Area continues to grow, families deserve to have access to fast and reliable transit options that connect them to good jobs, housing and other necessities,” said Prabmeet Sarkaria, Minister of Transportation. “Today’s milestone brings us another step closer to saving commuters time, increasing quality of life for residents and growing the economy for everyone.”

The two 6.3-kilometre tunnels along Eglinton Avenue West bring the Extension from Renforth Drive to Scarlett Road, where the future line will come to the surface and transition to an elevated guideway. During the tunnelling process, two tunnel boring machines excavated 1.2 million tonnes of soil and rock, installed more than 7,400 concrete tunnel liner rings to support the tunnel walls and dug 93 per cent of the underground portion of the line.

“Part of the largest public transit investment in the history of the Greater Toronto Area, the Eglinton Crosstown West Extension will help to reduce traffic congestion and carbon emissions, while supporting thousands of good jobs,” said Yvan Baker, MP for Etobicoke Centre. “The completion of tunnelling on the western segment of this line extension is an exciting step towards a more seamless rapid transit experience for thousands of daily riders.”

During the next phase of the project, work will continue at the extraction shaft at Scarlett Road to build the structure where the trains will emerge from the tunnels and preparations will get underway to begin tunnelling the eastern underground portion of the line that will run from east of Jane Street to Mount Dennis Station.

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“Completing this important phase of tunnelling work will help build even more momentum behind the project as construction progresses across the entire line. This is a significant milestone for the Eglinton Crosstown West Extension because it means we are a big step closer to bringing rapid transit to more communities and reducing travel times for customers by up to 24 minutes,” said Phil Verster, president and CEO of Metrolinx.

The Eglinton Crosstown West Extension project is No. 17 on ReNew Canada’s 2024 Top100 Projects report.

“Our strong partnership with the province is helping build more transit, more quickly, for the people of Toronto,” said Olivia Chow, Mayor of Toronto. “The Eglinton Crosstown West Extension will help more communities conveniently access rapid transit. Together, we can relieve congestion and give people more options to get to work, school or run errands.”

“This is a huge achievement for Etobicoke Centre. We are expanding the subway system by 50 per cent. This will bring more access to fast and reliable public transit for Etobicoke Centre constituents, connecting them to Mississauga and the rest of Toronto.”

Featured image: After being disassembled, parts of the Eglinton Crosstown West Extension TBM are carefully lifted out of the extraction shaft with a crane. (Metrolinx)

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