The Ontario government has completed excavation of the second of two tunnels under Highways 401 and 409, bringing the Kitchener GO corridor one step closer to becoming a two-way, all-day rail service. This milestone represents a significant achievement in Ontario’s GO Expansion program supporting the creation of a modern, sustainable rail transit network in the province.
“This tunnel project will help increase capacity on the Kitchener corridor and, where possible, support all-day trips, in both directions to reduce congestion,” said Caroline Mulroney, Minister of Transportation. “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.”
The Highway 401 and 409 Rail Tunnel Project includes a twin tunnel structure, and when complete, will provide space for two additional tracks in the future. Track, signaling, and communications infrastructure will be installed under a separate contract. Substantial completion for the 401 and 409 Rail Tunnel Project is expected to be reached in the second half of 2021.
“We are delivering on our commitment to bring fast, frequent rail service to Kitchener-Waterloo, Brampton, Mississauga, and Toronto,” said Kinga Surma, Associate Minister of Transportation (GTA). “By making these significant infrastructure investments, we will connect more people to jobs and improve passenger convenience, while increasing access to Ontario’s fastest growing urban cities along the Toronto-Waterloo Innovation Corridor and beyond.”
“GO Expansion will transform the transportation network in the Greater Golden Horseshoe, allowing for more frequent travel across the region,” said Phil Verster, President and CEO of Metrolinx. “This announcement and the work on the Kitchener line is a significant milestone which will eventually help get more people out of their cars and onto public transit, leading to a better quality of life for many people.”
“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,” said Michael Lindsay, President and CEO of Infrastructure Ontario. “We are proud to support GO Expansion in the province and deliver system-wide infrastructure upgrades that will enable more frequent service.”
This project is just one of more than 20 major projects currently under construction to support the province’s GO Expansion program that will transform GO rail into a two-way, all-day rapid transit service every 15 minutes on core segments of the network.
The project is being constructed by Toronto Tunnel Partners, comprising: (Applicant Lead) EllisDon Capital Inc. and STRABAG Inc.; (Construction) EllisDon Civil Ltd. and STRABAG Inc.; (Design) WSP Canada Inc., Dr. Sauer & Partners, and Amec Foster Wheeler; (Financial Advisor) EllisDon Capital Inc. and STRABAG Inc.
- Each rail tunnel under Highways 401 and 409 is approximately 180 metres in length, or about 360 metres when combined, with an excavation that is 11 metres high by 9 metres wide.
- Tunnel one reached 100 per cent excavation on August 1, 2020.
- Both tunnels involved the removal of approximately 70,000 cubic metres of material.
- Toronto Tunnel Partners is the project consortium constructing the twin tunnel structure.
- The value of the contract is approximately $116.9 million.