Ontario Construction News staff writer
After 18 months of work, crews have completed excavation at the Finch West light rail transit (LRT) project’s Humber College Station.
It was by far the biggest dig on the Finch West LRT with more than than 200,000 cubic metres of soil was removed from both the station box and the portal area that leads into the station.
“Finch Avenue West is busy enough, but excavating a below-surface light rail transit station next to a major hospital and a busy college requires strong safety processes and a lot of attention to detail,” said Eric Chiasson, Mosaic Transit Group’s construction manager for the site.
The challenging feat was wrapped up when the last of about 25,000 the dump truck loads left site late last month. That’s equivalent to 3,150 shipping containers or 80 Olympic-size swimming pools of dirt.
Work included excavating underneath two roof structures for Highway 27, which were built from the top down and connect the portal to the station structure under Humber College Boulevard.
Humber College Station is being constructed in an area with heavy traffic, both vehicular and pedestrian. The project is being delivered through a public-private partnership (P3).
Mosaic Transit Group is designing and building these features:
- An 11-kilometre LRT line, running along Finch Avenue from the new TTC Finch West Subway Station at Keele Street to Humber College.
- Accessible streetscapes for drivers, transit riders, cyclists, and pedestrians.
- 18 stops, including 16 surface stops, plus an underground interchange station at Finch West LRT station
Engineers and operators installed deep piles and support-of-excavation structures to ensure the site was as safe as possible for workers and the nearby community. In addition, rigorous traffic and pedestrian control measures were put in place to maintain public safety around the big dig.
Heavy machinery was brought in to carve out the earth for the new station and its portal connection.
Excavators worked in tandem with dump trucks and other vehicles to quickly dig out the site for the future LRT line – all while traffic flowed down Highway 27 just metres away.
“We excavated around and underneath storm sewers, water mains, communication lines and high-voltage power cables, dug under a busy roadway and overcame so many logistical challenges to get to this point. I am very proud of my team – they love their work and because they took this challenge seriously, they are delivering incredible results,” Chiasson said.