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Niagara Tunnel Reaches Another Milestone

Niagara River

On Nov. 15, workers opened the valve allowing water to flow from the Niagara River into the intake channel. (Photo from Ontario Power Generation)

Another milestone was achieved Nov. 15 on the 10-km long Niagara Tunnel for Ontario Power Generation. Workers at the tunnel opened the valve allowing water to flow from the Niagara River up to the tunnel gates in an area known as the intake channel. When the water is level with the river, crews will start to remove the cofferdam.

Once in service, water will flow from the Niagara River through the tunnel leading to the Sir Adam Beck generating stations. About 300 people are currently employed on the project; at peak the work force numbered 580.

When completed in mid 2013, the Niagara Tunnel will increase the output at the Sir Adam Beck stations, and provide clean, renewable electricity for about 160,000 homes annually for the next 100 years.

The mammoth project, completed by contractor Strabag, used a world-record 14.4-m diameter hard rock TBM from The Robbins Company. Excavation of the tunnel was completed in May 2011.

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