Metrolinx is planning busy nights ahead

Written by David C. Lester, Managing Editor
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Metrolinx will be strengthening an historic bridge over the next several weeks.
Metrolinx

Metrolinx has two projects going on the Lakeshore East Rail Corridor in Toronto.

Metrolinx is resuming a project on the Lakeshore East Rail Corridor and beginning a new one on the same corridor. The project it’s resuming is between Woodbine Avenue and Warden Avenue, and the one it’s starting is between Jones Avenue and Coxwell Avenue.

Night work resumes on Lakeshore East Rail Corridor between Woodbine Avenue to Warden Avenue

After a brief pause, construction is ramping back up between Woodbine Avenue and Warden Avenue. Starting this week, crews will resume building two retaining walls on the south side of the rail corridor, between Norwood Road and Victoria Park Avenue. It’s part of the Lakeshore East Rail Corridor Expansion project that will support future service increases on the GO line. Have a look at the upcoming work.

The Lakeshore East Rail Corridor is used to seeing a lot of activity – now the action is all around the stretch of tracks that constantly carry GO Transit customers.

Earlier this year, crews performed earth moving and sub-ballast installation before taking a brief pause between Woodbine Avenue and Warden Avenue. Installing sub-ballast absorbs vibrations and considerably reduces noise. Starting this Thursday (Sept 16) construction resumes, including overnight work to build two retaining walls in the corridor. The retaining walls will be built between Norwood Road and Victoria Park Avenue.

The construction supports GO Expansion and completing this work will enable the future addition of a fourth track and electrification infrastructure on the Lakeshore East line. Electrification is a key part of building a quieter, faster, more efficient network across the region. The new fourth track will improve journey times for all transit trips on the Lakeshore East Corridor, improve reliability and deliver more service within the city of Toronto.

Construction occurs at night when trains are not running to keep crews safe. To minimize disruptions, crews will reduce the idling of non-essential vehicles and machinery. Vehicles will not back up where possible, to reduce the beeping noise from reverse operations. Noise and vibration monitoring will also be installed at the construction sites. These and other measures to reduce the noise will be implemented as much as possible throughout the day and night.

Image shows a tractor at work
Earlier this year, crews made progress on site and moved earth between Main Street and Victoria Park Avenue. (Metrolinx photo)

Residents will notice more vehicles and equipment in the area. Crews will continue to use Norwood Road and the Loblaws parking lot at 50 Musgrave to access the rail corridor. Concrete trucks will be used to deliver concrete to the site which gets placed in the caisson. Dump trucks help move dirt to, from or around the site. Dozers push and shape dirt and rollers compact the earth into the ground. Drill rigs will be used to install the piles in the ground.

Crews installed sub-ballast to help reduce noise and vibration from future train service – between Woodbine Avenue and Main Street. (Metrolinx photo)

The two pile and lagging retaining walls on the south side of the rail corridor will be built on the east and west of Main Street. Retaining wall eight is approximately 520 metres long and runs from east of Ted Reeve Drive to Dengate Road. Retaining wall nine is approximately 90 metres long and runs from Enderby Road to Main Street.

The pile and lagging wall construction process includes earth moving, drilling piles (vertical), caisson installation (structures necessary to pump out water/moisture to create suitable working conditions for retaining wall works), lagging installation (horizontal material of the wall to hold back the earth) and then some more earth moving.

The retaining walls carry and support the weight of the ground, where there is a difference in ground elevation and minimize the width of the future rail corridor. They are designed to hold up soil and earth to stabilize uneven ground adjacent to the rail corridor.

The work for retaining walls eight and nine will occur day and night (24 hours a day), Monday to Friday and anticipated completion by fall 2022. This work will allow a fourth rail track to operate, while minimizing the need for land outside of the existing rail corridor.

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Access routes for retaining wall eight and nine on Musgrave Street and Norwood Road. (Metrolinx image)

“Metrolinx recognizes construction in communities and alongside neighbourhoods is disruptive, especially at night,” said Adrian Martins, Metrolinx community relations specialist.

“We are implementing measures to keep the noise down as best as possible and our team is available for questions every step of the way as we build this important infrastructure.”

Work on these retaining walls is part of the Lakeshore East Rail Corridor Expansion project in Toronto, which includes grading, retaining walls, constructing a new culvert and bridge widening to accommodate a future fourth track. By building on what is there today, Metrolinx can improve infrastructure that will deliver faster, two-way, all-day, 15-minute service on core segments of the network.

For the latest information on what’s happening in your area, register for the weekly electronic newsletter at metrolinx.com/lakeshoreeastrailcorridor and follow the team on Twitter @GOExpansion. Questions and concerns will be answered by community relations staff and can be reached at [email protected] 

Night work starting on the Lakeshore East Rail Corridor between Jones Avenue and Coxwell Avenue 

Next week, crews will be resuming work along the Lakeshore East Rail Corridor between Jones Avenue and Coxwell Avenue. The work will support future service expansion on the Lakeshore East line and Metrolinx has measures in place to keep the noise down at night. Here is what’s being done.

Construction has been quiet between Jones Avenue and Coxwell Avenue along the Lakeshore East line lately.

Next week, crews will be resuming work as part of the preparatory early work on the Lakeshore East Rail Corridor Expansion project in Toronto. This expansion project will enable the future addition of a fourth track and electrification infrastructure – meaning quieter, faster, more efficient service for customers. The new fourth track will improve journey times for all transit trips on the Lakeshore East Corridor, improve reliability and allow Metrolinx to deliver more service within the City of Toronto.

Metrolinx recognizes construction in neighbourhoods is challenging, especially overnight work, and will be putting every effort in place to minimize disruptions where possible.

The work this fall will focus on the construction of two pile and lagging retaining walls, one east and one west of Greenwood Avenue. The walls carry and support the weight of the ground, where there is a difference in ground elevation and minimize the width of the future rail corridor. They are designed to hold up soil and earth to stabilize uneven ground on the north side of the rail corridor that will be graded for the future fourth track.

Image shows a map.
Crews will be constructing retaining walls east and west of Greenwood Avenue. (Metrolinx image)

Installation of retaining walls is heavy work and Metrolinx is installing infrastructure that will last for generations. In this location piles are being drilled and this approach is quieter and less disruptive than driven piles, which are hammered or pounded into the ground.

Work to build a pile and lagging wall includes vegetation removal, moving earth, drilling piles (vertical), caisson installation (structures necessary to pump out water/moisture to create suitable working conditions for retaining wall works) and lagging installation (horizontal material of the wall to hold back earth). Some trees that specifically interfered with the construction of the retaining walls and future fourth track have already been removed. Only a minimum number of trees will be removed to allow crews to work safely, and fencing will also be installed to protect surrounding trees.

More Vehicles

As construction begins, residents will notice some increased vehicles and equipment in the area. Concrete trucks are used to deliver concrete to the site which gets placed in the caisson. Dump trucks will help move dirt around and on- or off-site. Dozers will push and shape the dirt. And finally, rollers will be brought in to compact the earth as drill rigs will help install the piles in the ground.

Vehicles, machinery and workers will access the corridor through Unity Road and the work will occur at night between the hours of 7 p.m. and 7 a.m., five days a week, Monday to Friday. The work for retaining walls six and seven are anticipated to be complete by fall 2022.

Image shows a map of construction
Vehicles, machinery and workers will access the corridor via Unity Road. (Metrolinx image)

Night Work

Night work is required due to the active rail corridor and work must take place when trains are not running to keep our crews safe and productive because of the proximity of the tracks.

To reduce noise, crews will minimize reverse operations, use broadband – it’s ‘white noise’ – back up alarms on trucks and equipment, and ensure no idling of non-essential equipment. Noise and vibration will also be monitored to ensure work is within limits.

“Metrolinx’s Toronto East Community Relations team is dedicated to providing timely updates to the community including regular Construction Liaison Committee (CLC) meetings” said David Phalp Metrolinx senior manager for Community Relations.

“We will do our best to keep the noise down and disruptions to a minimum where possible.”

Work on these retaining walls is part of the Lakeshore East Rail Corridor Expansion project in Toronto, which includes grading, retaining walls, constructing a new culvert and bridge widening to accommodate a future fourth track. By building on what is there today, Metrolinx can improve infrastructure that will deliver faster, two-way, all-day, 15-minute service on core segments of the network.

For the latest information on what’s happening in your area, register for the weekly electronic newsletter at metrolinx.com/lakeshoreeastrailcorridor and follow the team on Twitter @GOExpansion. Questions and concerns will be answered by community relations staff and can be reached at [email protected]

Categories: Ballast, Ties, Rail, Bridge/Retaining Walls/Tunnels, Commuter/Regional, News, ON Track Maintenance, Passenger, Rail News, Technology, Track Construction, Track Maintenance, Track Structure
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