Tunnel boring machines resurfacing for Eglinton Crosstown LRT

After nearly four years of digging, the tunnel boring machines (TBMs) for the Eglinton Crosstown LRT are being taken apart and removed from the ground.  

One of the machines, nicknamed "Don", bored 3.3 km underground, helping to complete the LRT's north tunnel. 

The 400-tonne machine was disassembled and parts of it were hoisted out Monday morning near Yonge and Eglinton.

The second TBM, named "Humber", will also be extracted over the next four days.

Each TBM is 10 metres high and 6.5 metres across. "Don's" cutter head was the first part to surface.

The project's head engineer, John Brown, spoke before the extraction this morning, tracking the cutter head's movement. 

"It's going to get lifted up the extraction shaft...spun around with a big crane behind us....pivoted around and laid down on the far side of the site," he said. 

The TBM's operated 16-20 metres below ground, around the clock, with a crew of six operators each. 

In total, four TBM's bored the tunnels. TBM "Don" and "Humber" bored the tunnels from Brentcliffe Road to Yonge Street. 

TBMs "Dennis" and "Lea" bored the tunnels from Black Creek Drive to Yonge Street. 

Metrolinx says there's still a lot of work to do before riders can hit the rails in 2021. 

"We can now hand over the final tunnel to the next contractor who will fit it out with the rails so it's a milestone for us," said Brown.