Ontario Construction News staff writer
An empty platform at Eglinton GO Station was transformed recently, with Kenaidan Contracting Ltd. using an innovative construction technique over a span of 24 hours to install a canopy structure over the station’s south platform.
The technique involved the 130-metre-long canopy being built in a staging area away from the tracks, then lifted about 12 metres in the air by a crane and lowered into place above the station’s south platform.
“The traditional approach that we took when we first looked at this project was to build the platform canopies in place,” said Scott Brazeau, site supervisor, Kenaiden Contracting.
“Kenaiden and our team of engineers and designers took a step back and kind of thought outside the box.”
It’s the first time this method has been used on a GO Expansion project with the following steps:
- The canopy structure was divided into four sections, with the longest being about 36 metres.
- Each of these four sections were built in the staging area on temporary concrete bases.
- When the segments were complete, a specially-designed lifting cradle and rigging apparatus was used to lift the canopy pieces into place, with the heaviest lift coming in at almost 45 tonnes – that’s about the same weight as approximately 55 moose.
To safely hoist each segment, a team of engineers developed lifting plans and the lifts were modelled structurally to ensure safe hoisting of the sections.
“The biggest hurdle that we had to overcome was ‘How do we safely lift a structure that’s not meant to be lifted,” Brazeau said, explaining that the entire structure including all roofing, cladding, electrical mechanical rough-ins, each structure weighed more than 55,000 pounds.
All work was done during the day, eliminating delays for GO service and saving money for Metrolinx.
The same construction technique will now be used on the station’s north platform. The canopy is currently being prefabricated and will be hoisted from the south staging area over to the north platform in the coming months, requiring a larger crane to transport the canopy across the three tracks.
Work on the station began in 2021 and includes:
- Construction of elevators and stairwells for connections to the two previously-installed pedestrian tunnels under the rail tracks
- Mechanical and electrical rooms for supporting the new infrastructure
- Heated ramps to the north platform on the west side and to the east tunnel on the east side
- North vestibule to the east tunnel with seating, automated fare purchase and digital signage
- Rehabilitation of the pick-up and drop-off area
- Required shelter relocations, platform widening, and repairs as required to implement above scope elements on the platforms