Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Confederation Line tunnel construction underway (photos)

I hopped off the bus a couple times yesterday to check out the progress of construction of the tunnel entrances for the Confederation Line's downtown subway--which kicked off earlier in July--and snapped a few photos while there. Although not too much has happened yet, it's still interesting to see how things are starting--and it'll be especially cool (I hope) to look back in a little while and see how different things look.

Eastern Portal

Folks riding buses down the Transitway at the University of Ottawa have likely already been impacted by the slight detour around the Eastern Portal of the tunnel, which is right beside the U of O's Arts Building. So far, it looks like there's just a big hole that's allowing the crew to access utilities, like sewer lines.

Western Portal

A bit more has happened at the Western Portal, which is close to Lebreton Station and right beside the Albert-Transitway Station. A couple of dozen piles have been driven into the ground along the sides of the future tunnel to support it during the descent underground. The piles also show the route that the tunnel will take: It meets the Transitway at the unused portion of Wellington Street and begins its downward slope at Brickhill Street, with the tunnel itself angling towards Queen Street. This map might make that description a bit clearer (click to enlarge)...

Here's a photo of the piles, indicating the pathway the tunnel will take, along with a closeup of a pile into the asphalt of Wellington Street...

Finally, while at the Western Portal I met another Ottawan who was interested in documenting the progress of the LRT contruction--and who'd taken a few photos of earlier progress. Courtesy of Jim Louter (thanks, Jim!), here's a comparative photo of the same stretch of Wellington as the piles were being driven, back on July 11:

And here's a photo of what appears to be the archway that'll mark the top of the tunnel entrance, taken yesterday (July 30), again courtesy of Jim Louter:

That's all I've got for today, but I'll try to have periodical updates with photos to show how the project is progressing (although it might be more difficult, as it appears the crew is putting in permanent fencing around a larger area of the site). If you've got photos you'd like to share, feel free to e-mail me (make sure to include the dates they were taken!) and I'll try to include them in future updates!


Unknown said...

That last photo is looking north. Those round tubes are drilled into the ground, the earth is removed from the centre, and then filled with concrete.

Mounted on the fence nearby is a series of lights wired into a box also tied into some vibration sensors; I expect that as work progresses, those lights will flash if vibration exceeds a pre-determined level. The tunnel looks like it will go under the Juliana apartments on Bronson.

Anonymous said...

Thankfully someone is updating people on this. Ottawa Light rail site has not been updated since January!

Anonymous said...

I would very much appreciate more photography of the sites as the work progresses. Finding information about it is currently very difficult beyond usual news websites (which are notoriously bad at actually informing) as well as the city's website itself.

Jim Louter said...

I've got more pictures; I'll email them to Peter. They were taken about a week ago and show that a first layer of earth (maybe 3 or 4 meters) has been excavated along the length of the trench (which is the old Wellington St roadbed from Brickhill to Commissioner. Excavated earth was piled up on the surface parallel to the trench.