Big step toward starting construction on the Spadina subway extension

Chair Fisch and the other dignitaries pose for cameras in front of a scale model of a tunnel boring machine.

Chair Fisch and the other dignitaries pose for cameras in front of a scale model of a tunnel boring machine.

Lovat, an Ontario-based company that makes tunnel boring equipment, has been awarded a $58-million contract to build four machines that will be used in the construction of the Spadina subway extension.

The announcement was made last Friday, August 7, at the Lovat plant by Ontario Transportation Minister Jim Bradley, joined by MP Bob Dechert, York Regional Chair and CEO Bill Fisch, TTC Chair Adam Giambrone and Lovat President Dick Cooper. Not only does this mean the creation of some 200 jobs in the GTA and a boost to the economy, it signals continued progress on the project as it’s scheduled to open in 2015.

Prior to the announcement, I had the pleasure of joining the group for a bit of a tour of Lovat. We met at one end of their Mississauga plant and walked through to the other end while learning about what’s involved in making tunnel boring equipment. Cameras and reporters were waiting at the end of the tour to hear each dignitary deliver a short speech about the announcement.

It was awe-inspiring to watch the dignitaries being interviewed in front of a massive tunnel boring machine. They’re HUGE. Just take a look at the picture below to see how big they are compared to the people near them.

Lovat has built similar and even larger machines for projects all around the world, from Algeria to Venezuela. “We are pleased to be a part of this significant mass-transit project, as it not only generates jobs and strengthens infrastructure locally, but also highlights Canada’s technological capabilities on a global scale,” said Cooper.

The first two machines are expected to be delivered in the fall of 2010, with tunnel boring to begin shortly after.

York Regional Chairman Bill Fisch speaks to the audience and TV cameras in front of an actual tunnel boring machine last Friday.

York Regional Chair and CEO Bill Fisch speaks to the audience and TV cameras in front of an actual tunnel boring machine last Friday.

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One Response to “Big step toward starting construction on the Spadina subway extension”

  1. Awesome site, learned a few new things! Bookmarked for later, hope to see more updates like this one.

    - Let’s have some new clichés. Samuel Goldwyn 1882 1974

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