On August 19, the Ontario Government announced that they were moving forward with a Request for Proposals (RFP) for tunnelling work on the Eglinton Crosstown West Extension, as well as the Scarborough Subway Extension. Infrastructure Ontario (IO) and Metrolinx are expected to award these two tunnelling contracts in mid-2021.
The Eglinton Crosstown West Extension (ECWE)
The ECWE will extend the Eglinton Crosstown Light Rail Transit project, currently under construction, by 9.2 km from the future Mount Dennis Station to Renforth Drive. The extension is intended to create convenient connections between different transit systems throughout the region ― UP Express and Kitchener Line GO train service at Mount Dennis, TTC bus services at transit stops in Toronto, and MiWay and GO bus services via the Mississauga Transitway at Renforth Drive. The province is also committed to establishing connectivity to Pearson International Airport.
The preliminary cost estimate of the project is $4.7 billion, and is estimated to support as many as 4,600 jobs annually during the six-year construction period.
The Scarborough Subway Extension (SSE)
The SSE will extend the Toronto Transit Commission’s (TTC) Bloor-Danforth Line 2 approximately 8 km via three stops, from Kennedy Station to a new terminus at Sheppard Avenue and McCowan Road.
The Preliminary Design Business Case estimates the SSE will provide 38,000 people with walking distance access to rapid transit and see 105,000 daily boardings by 2041. The SSE project is estimated to support as many as 3,000 jobs annually during construction. The SSE is expected to reduce the number of vehicle kilometres travelled during rush hour by 30,000 km, significantly reducing traffic congestion and auto-related greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by 10,000 tonnes annually.
OSPE’s Infrastructure Task Force has been calling on all levels of government to retain expert engineering input on transit infrastructure to guarantee short and long-term transportation planning that best serves the Greater Toronto and Hamilton Area for several years. As tunnelling discussions continue around the development of the ECWE, engineers look forward to being at the table to provide engineering expertise.
“The Ontario Society of Professional Engineers (OSPE) welcomes commitments to invest in much needed transit in the Toronto core,” said Mark Frayne, P.Eng., chair of OSPE’s Infrastructure Task Force. “Engineers believe new transit options that help relieve the existing overcapacity of the Yonge-University-Spadina Line and create economic opportunities and development potential are crucial.” OSPE urges the government to publicly release its entire costed plan and consult with engineers when it comes to transit development. Engineers also call on the provincial government to select a bidder based on best value and not lowest price.
Richard Keimel, P.Eng., senior systems engineer and member of OSPE’s Infrastructure Task Force, calls on the government to look at transit infrastructure as a larger all-encompassing policy file. “Federal, provincial and municipal governments should consider sharing resources between all three Toronto transit expansion projects (Ontario Line, Yonge North Extension and Line 2 East Extension), while moving forward with an integrated systems approach to ensure all aspects of the lines/extensions function correctly together, and are delivered on time.”