West End Connectors awarded Eglinton Crosstown West tunneling contract

May 21, 2021
The team will be responsible for boring approximately six kilometers of the 9.2-kilometer extension.

Infrastructure Ontario and Metrolinx awarded a contract for the Eglinton Crosstown West Extension Advance Tunnel project to West End Connectors to design, build and finance the tunnels that are needed as part of the Eglinton Crosstown West Extension.

The contract carries a fixed price of C$729.2 million (US$604.6 million), which includes supplying the tunnel boring machines and installation of tunnel liners for the approximately six kilometers (3.7 miles) of tunnels as part of the 9.2-kilometer (5.7-mile) extension.

The scope of work also includes the design and construction of launch and extraction shafts, tunnels, as well as headwalls for emergency exit buildings and stations and activities necessary to build the tunnel, such as utility relocations, ventilation and drainage.

The West End Connectors team includes developers and construction firms Aecon Infrastructure Management Inc., Dragados Canada Inc., Ghella Canada Ltd.; designers TYPSA Inc., EXP Services Inc.; and ACS Infrastructure Canada, Aecon Concessions, Scotiabank Capital, Ghella Investments & Partnerships handling the financial side of the project.

This contract award represents the first phase of work for the Eglinton Crosstown West Extension. Infrastructure Ontario explains starting with the tunneling phase allows the extension to move forward on an accelerated timeline. A separate contract for the balance of the work will be issued in the future.

Last week, the C$4.7-billion (US$3.8-billion) Eglinton Crosstown West Extension was one of four priority transit projects to secure financial backing from the Canadian government to cover up to 40 percent of their cost. The province is also contributing to the four projects, which represents the largest transit investment in Ontario’s history, ultimately adding more than 40 kilometers (24.8 miles) to the Greater Toronto Area’s (GTA) rapid transit network.

Ontario Minister of Transportation Caroline Mulroney and Associate Minister of Transportation (GTA) Kinga Surma issued a joint statement that said, “Through our landmark partnerships with the federal government, city of Toronto and York Region, the progress our government continues to make on transit is unprecedented.”

West End Connectors was identified as the First Negotiations Proponent in March and Metrolinx explains the contracting team has been working on early design and, with a finalized contract, the team will begin work at the Renforth Drive and Commerce Boulevard tunnel launch site.

Metrolinx says the tunnel boring machines will launch at the Renforth site and dig the underground section between Renforth Drive and Scarlett Road. Metrolinx also notes the community will have a chance to partake in one of the industry’s traditions: Naming of the tunnel boring machine.

Construction work is expected to begin in spring 2022 with project delivery expected in 2030 or 2031. The project will serve as an extension of the Toronto Transit Commission’s future Line 5 and will connect Mount Dennis Station to Renforth Drive.

About the Author

Mischa Wanek-Libman | Group Editorial Director

Mischa Wanek-Libman serves as editor in chief of Mass Transit magazine and group editorial director of the Infrastructure and Aviation Group at Endeavor Business Media. She is responsible for developing and maintaining the editorial direction of the group and is based in the western suburbs of Chicago.

Wanek-Libman has spent more than 20 years covering transportation issues including construction projects and engineering challenges for various commuter railroads and transit agencies. She has been recognized for editorial excellence through her individual work, as well as for collaborative content. 

She is an active member of the American Public Transportation Association's Marketing and Communications Committee and serves as a Board Observer on the National Railroad Construction and Maintenance Association (NRC) Board of Directors.  

She is a graduate of Drake University, where she earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in Journalism and Mass Communication with a major in magazine journalism and a minor in business management.