Tunnelling: What You May Experience

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June 23, 2016

As you may know, the Eglinton Crosstown includes a 10-kilometre underground portion, between Keele Street and Laird Drive. For the tunnelled portion, locomotives run along interim track and transport materials and haul spoils in and out of the tunnels to the extraction shafts. Tunnel boring machines (TBMs) and muck removal operations run around the clock - 24 hours a day.

On average, the tunnel boring machines each travel approximately 24 metres per day. TBMs are working approximately 16-20 metres below ground, but we sometimes hear from nearby residents who may experience noise and vibration from the TBMs as they pass through the area.

In most cases, detectable levels of noise and vibration are possible depending on where the TBMs are working at any given time. For example, as the TBMs drive through various soil conditions, vibration can or may be more discernable. Also, in the evenings and overnight hours when street level traffic is reduced, TBM activity may be more easily recognized.

As the TBMs progress, temporary noise and vibration may be experienced, and will subside as the machines advance along their paths. If you experience any noise and vibration, please contact our community relations offices for more information.

• The TBMs tunnelling from the east have completed approximately 80% of their journey and expected to be at Yonge Street in early September.

• In some cases, residents have indicated that they are experiencing noise and vibrations related to the service locomotives. The locomotives run in and out of the tunnels twice an hour along temporary tracks and are transporting construction materials to the TBMs, in particular concrete tunnel liners.

• Despite the monitoring findings, several mitigation measures have been explored by Metrolinx, with the most feasible and practical at this point in the tunneling schedule being increased track and locomotive maintenance by the contractor. This additional maintenance will serve to reduce the gaps and imperfections along the temporary track, which should reduce both the resulting noise and vibrations created by the locomotives. However, the noise and vibration associated with the locomotives will not be eliminated completely.


Currently, the north TBM (Don) are driving west from east of Mount Pleasant Road, whereas the south TBM (Humber) are coming from approximiately between Tauton Road and Falcon Street. You can track the locations of our TBMs on our Crosstown website at: thecrosstown.ca/tbm-tracker.

Metrolinx works closely with the City of Toronto, as well as local elected officials to monitor any situation of concern or disruptions that are connected to the Crosstown’s construction. We know that during construction residents will be inconvenienced, and we work hard to keep people informed. We thank you for your patience as we deliver this important transit expansion project.