Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Metrolinx purchases tunnel-boring machines for Eglinton Crosstown project

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Metrolinx continues to move forward its bold 5 in 10 Plan, a vision to improve transit in Toronto, with the C$54-million contract with Lovat Inc. to purchase four tunnel-boring machines (TBMs) for the Eglinton Crosstown Light Rail Transit project.

The Eglinton Crosstown LRT project will take more cars off the road, improve air quality, create approximately 46,000 jobs, reduce travel times and support a stronger regional transit system in the Greater Toronto Area. The project is estimated to cost C$4.6 billion and will be completed by 2020.

"This contract with Lovat reaffirms our commitment to public transit and job creation," said Ontario Minister of Transportation, Kathleen Wynne. "The Eglinton Crosstown LRT is the largest of the Big 5 transit projects and as part of our Open Ontario plan it's important that we continue moving forward on our strategic infrastructure investments."

On June 14, 2010, Ontario Transportation Minister Kathleen Wynne announced approval of the Metrolinx 5 in 10 Plan. The 5 in 10 Plan will build the Big 5 transit projects by 2020 with a budget of $9.5 billion - while saving $4 billion in the first five years from the original timeline. The Big 5 projects include the Eglinton LRT, the Sheppard LRT, the Scarborough RT refurbishment and extension, the Finch LRT and the York VivaNext project.

"The contract with Lovat is valued at C$54 million. The TBMs will be manufactured by Lovat, which employs approximately 380 people at its Toronto location. Tunneling will commence under Eglinton Avenue in the spring of 2011.

The Eglinton Crosstown LRT is a two-phase 31-kilometer (19.2-mile) rapid transit project through the Eglinton Avenue corridor that will connect Kennedy Station to Pearson Airport. The first phase runs from Jane St. in the west to Kennedy station in the east and includes an 11-km (6.8-mile) underground tunnel in the center section.

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