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Extending the Spadina subway: Boring news

The project to extend the Spadina leg of the TTC ’s 01 Yonge - University - Spadina subway inched closer to reality yesterday, Friday, August 7 as representatives of two governments, two municipalities and a transit agency announced an agreement with a manufacturer of tunnel-boring machines.

Bob Dechert, Member of Parliament for Mississauga-Erindale, representing the Government of Canada, Ontario Transportation Minister Jim Bradley, City of Toronto Councillor Adam Giambrone, the chair of the Toronto Transit Commission, and Bill Fisch, the chair of York Region, announced that the partners in the project will buy four tunnel-boring machines for the subway from the Toronto company, LOVAT Inc.

The total value of the contract is about $58.4 million and will generate manufacturing jobs in the Greater Toronto Area. The representatives of the governments and government agencies announced the contract before touring the facility where LOVAT Inc. will build the machines.

To make sure that it meets the project schedule, LOVAT already has the design and manufacturing process for the six-metre diameter machines under way. LOVAT will comprehensively test each machine before it delivers them to the contractor that will build the subway.

The $58-million contract with LOVAT represents about two per cent of the total cost of the extension. The TTC will re-use these tunnel boring machines on other projects or will resell them, probably regaining as much as 30 per cent of the original cost.

LOVAT expects to deliver the first two boring machines in fall 2010, and the contractor is likely to begin boring tunnels shortly afterwards. It expects to deliver the other two machines by spring 2011.

The Government of Canada, the Province of Ontario, the City of Toronto and the Regional Municipality of York are jointly funding the project to extend the subway. The total cost of the project is about $2.6 billion and the line likely will open for service in 2015.

Photo: Ontario Ministry of Transportation