Excavation work on the second tunnel is complete, the Ontario, Canada government reports.
As part of the GO Expansion program, completion of the second of two tunnels under Highways 401 and 409 brings the Kitchener corridor another step closer to bidirectional, all-day rail service. GO Transit, a division of Metrolinx, operates commuter rail service on the corridor, which includes 12 existing stations in seven municipalities. Having two additional tracks through the tunnels will help allow for more trips at every point along the line, from Kitchener-Waterloo, Guelph, Halton Hills, Brampton, Mississauga and Toronto (see map below). (Weekday evening trains on the line have been temporarily replaced with buses due to the pandemic.)
Toronto Tunnel Partners is the project consortium constructing the twin tunnel structure, under an approximately $91.8 million (C$116.9 million) contract.
The Highway 401 and 409 Rail Tunnel Project includes the twin tunnel structure, as well as track, signaling and communications infrastructure that will be installed under a separate contract. “Substantial” completion is expected in second-half 2021.
Each rail tunnel is approximately 591 feet long (180 meters), or about 1,181 feet (360 meters) combined, with an excavation that is 36 feet (11 meters) high by 30 feet (9 meters) wide. Excavation was completed on the first tunnel Aug. 1, 2020. Approximately 2.5 million cubic feet (70,000 cubic meters) of material was removed from both tunnels.
“I want to applaud Toronto Tunnel Partners for their innovative work on the Highway 401 and 409 Rail Tunnel Project, which was constructed under 21 live lanes of traffic,” Infrastructure Ontario President and CEO Michael Lindsay said.
“This tunnel project will help increase capacity on the Kitchener corridor and, where possible, support all-day trips, in both directions to reduce congestion,” Minister of Transportation Caroline Mulroney said. “Our goal is to establish a more reliable rail transit system in the Greater Golden Horseshoe, which will drive significant economic growth and job creation that will benefit the entire province.”