Inside a large cavern, machinery works to dig away at holes.

Oakwood Station build calls on remote control solution

Metrolinx News is checking in with each of the Crosstown stations to highlight progress.

Apr 16, 2019

If you mine a cave, deep below the city, how do you make the connection between top and bottom?

With a remote control crane that’s the ultimate version of an amusement prize claw – a unique system that tethers two busy worlds.

A crane works inside a massive cavern that's been dug out below an active part of the city. Shown...

Located at the Eglinton Avenue West and Oakwood Avenue intersection, Oakwood Station is being constructed in a way that involves forming a cavern underneath an active roadway, allowing for less disruption at street level.

The mining process involves prior completion of the entrance excavation. Specialized equipment is then used to drill supports and mine a cavern, or giant cave, horizontally under the roadway. For more information on the mining that is being done for the Eglinton Crosstown, watch this mining 101 video.

Mining work at Oakwood Station began following the completion of the entrance excavation in late 2017. To date, the team has mined just under 27 metres out of a total 111 metres for the main cavern. Mining will continue throughout the year and into 2020 as the station prepares for its grand opening in 2021.

Oakwood Station is another unique station for the Eglinton Crosstown. Given the station’s small footprint, the space where construction is taking place does not allow for a standard tower crane. Behold the ‘gantry’ crane. The station was the first site in Canada to use this overhead crane, which operates by remote control directly over the excavated site on a custom-built frame.

The station will have two entrances – the main on the north side of Eglinton and Oakwood Avenue and the secondary one on the south side of Eglinton between Oakwood Avenue and Times Road.

The station will also include 24 outdoor bicycle parking spots and on-street connections to the TTC bus that will help connect you to your destination.

by Erika D’Urbano Communications senior advisor