A construction site on Eglinton Avenue East, just east of Brentcliffe Road was the scene this week, as Stephen Del Duca, Ontario’s Minister of Transportation, Bruce McCuaig, the president and chief executive officer of Metrolinx and Mitzi Hunter, the member of the provincial parliament for Scarborough - Guildwood officially launched the start of tunneling for the next phase of the project to build the Eglinton Crosstown light rail transit line. According to Del Duca, two tunnel-boring machines, “Don” and “Humber” start their underground journey westward toward Yonge Street next Tuesday, September 29. Launching the two machines marks another milestone in the ongoing Metrolinx project to build the Eglinton Crosstown light rail transit line.
Crews have been working on the western segment of the tunnel since June 2013 and have already completed four kilometres (2.5 miles) of the total 6.5 kilometres (four miles). Metrolinx expects to finish all tunneling by the end of 2016.
Each tunnel-boring machine is 10 metres (33 feet) long, 6.5 metres (21.3 feet) in diameter and weighs about 400 tonnes (440 tons) each.
In November 2012, Metrolinx held an online contest to choose names for the four tunnel boring machines for the Eglinton Crosstown project. The winning names include “Dennis” and “Lea”, to represent the neighbourhoods of Mount Dennis and Leaside, and “Don” and “Humber”, to represent the two local rivers.