Excavation of Billy Bishop Airport pedestrian tunnel reaches halfway mark


GTA Construction Report staff writer

The Toronto Port Authority (TPA) has announced that excavation of the pedestrian tunnel to Billy Bishop Toronto City Airport has passed the halfway mark. The tunnel’s excavation began in early July and is set for completion fall 2013.

“Reaching the half-way point of excavation marks an exciting milestone for the pedestrian tunnel project,” said Geoffrey Wilson, TPA president and CEO. “It makes the project’s progress very real and brings us one step closer to providing passengers with reliable, fast and efficient access to Billy Bishop Toronto City Airport.”

The excavation of the main pedestrian tunnel takes place in two phases: the first phase involves the excavation of the pedestrian tunnel’s top half, including side wall anchoring, followed by the excavation of the bottom half, a news release says.

When complete, the pedestrian tunnel will have four moving sidewalks (two north and two south) moving at 2.3 kilometres per hour. From a bank of six elevators on the mainland side, passengers will go 100 feet down to access the tunnel and travel 800 feet underneath the Western Gap to escalators which take passengers to the airport’s check-in area.  The complete journey will take less than six minutes, and will dramatically improve passenger flows.  Passengers will also notice shorter check-in lines as travellers will no longer be arriving at the airport terminal in four ferry “waves” per hour, as is currently the case.


Construction began on the pedestrian tunnel project in March 2012. The tunnel will link Billy Bishop Toronto City Airport to the mainland and provide enhanced service and convenient access for the airport’s users. The project is financed by the private sector and will be paid for by departing passengers via the existing airport improvement fee. Once completed, the tunnel will also use 100 per cent green energy supplied by Bullfrog Power Inc. Project completion is expected in the second half of 2014.

The private sector consortium delivering the public-private partnership project comprises: Forum Equity Partners (concessionaire and equity sponsor), PCL Constructors (design/builder), Johnson Controls (facility manager), Technicore Underground (tunnelling contractor); Arup (lead designer), ZAS (architect), and Exp (geotechnical engineer).

For more information, visit www.torontoport.com


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