Kinga Surma, Ontario’s associate minister of transportation, announced on July 26 that construction on two rail tunnels under highways 401 and 409 is set to begin. The tunnels will accommodate two more tracks, making way for improved GO rail service along the Kitchener line.
“The new rail tunnels under Highways 401 and 409 will allow us to add more trains and more service to the Kitchener Line, bringing us one step closer to two-way, all-day service along the Kitchener GO line,” Surma said.
Construction of the tunnels under 21 lanes of some of the busiest highway in North America will be taken on by project consortium Toronto Tunnel Partners (TTP), who will design, build, and finance the upgrade. TTP is made up of an equal partnership joint venture between EllisDon Civil and STRABAG Inc. The project is expected to be completed by late 2021 at a cost of approximately $116.9 million.
“Constructing under one of the busiest stretches of highway is no easy task, but by working with Toronto Tunnel Partners, we are excited to use innovative engineering techniques for tunnelling that will allow us to bring more trains and more service to customers faster, giving them the service they need to get them to where they need to go,” said Stephanie Davies, executive vice president of GO Expansion at Metrolinx.
In addition to the two new rail tracks, TTP will upgrade infrastructure on the footing for the 409 eastbound on-ramp, and outfit the tunnel with mechanical and electrical support systems, storm water management upgrades, and preparations for further track installations.
The province is working on expanding the GO Rail network, to improve and increase service into two-way, all-day rapid transit every 15 minutes on in core areas.