Station to station: demo key to future Crosstown hubs


by PETER KENTER Apr 29, 2016

While all eyes have been on tunnel construction efforts for the Metrolinx Eglinton Crosstown Light Rail Transit (LRT) project, demolition contractors are now in gear, clearing approximately 35 surface buildings and structures to make way for future stations and infrastructure.

Delsan-AIM has taken on multiple demolition sub-contracts to constructor Crosslinx Transit Solutions, including a recent intricate demolition around the old Kodak plant in west Toronto, the site of the future Mount Dennis station, which will anchor the western end of the line.

The contract involved the remediation of a former Kodak building and the demolition of a private overpass across Eglinton that once served the plant's massive infrastructure.

Kodak's Building 9 was built more than 75 years ago and once served as a recreational building for Kodak employees.

"It's a heritage building with terracotta walls and was being remediated so that it could be temporarily moved off its footings," says Carmelo Pastore, district manager with Delsan-AIM.

"The work involved asbestos abatement and demolition of some interior walls for an eventual slab-on-grade cut at the foundation and temporary relocation of the building."

The overpass removal project occurred in mid-February and was limited to just one weekend, using the former Kodak yard as a staging area.

"We mobilized a foreman, 10 workers and all of the required equipment at the Kodak site on a Friday afternoon," says Pastore.

"That section of Eglinton Avenue is a heavily used strip of road so speed is critical. At 8 p.m. on that Friday night, we shut down Eglinton between Black Creek Drive and Weston with the assistance of off-duty police officers."

Before the equipment was moved to the job site, demolition crew members dumped a layer of sand between eight and 10 inches deep on Eglinton for protection of the roadway.

"That allowed us to demolish the bridge and move our equipment within the demolition area without causing damage to the roadway with our heavy excavators," says Pastore.

Equipment brought to the game included: five 50-ton excavators with hammers, shears, grapples and buckets; front-end loaders; Bobcats; flood lights; and a water truck for dust suppression.

"We were wrecking by midnight and vigorously attacked the roadway portion of the overpass all night long," says Pastore.

"It was mostly concrete and rebar on the bridge pan, while the actual supports were heavy steel girders, three to four feet in depth. We brought torches to cut through the steel, but later we used the excavators with shear attachment for the bulk cutting and used torches for final trimming."

The bridge structure was completely down by Saturday morning, with only the centre abutment remaining.

"We continued to hammer at the abutment and cleaned up the scrap and rubble through Saturday night and our equipment was completely off the road by 2 a.m. on Sunday morning," says Pastore.

"The concrete was pulverized, the rebar was removed, and all of the steel was delivered off-site as recyclable scrap."

Delsan-AIM is currently assigned to work on demolition projects at seven of the proposed 25 stations, including Keelesdale, Fairbank, Forest Hill, Chaplin, Eglinton, and Mount Pleasant. The Mount Pleasant project will include a partnership with Clifford Restoration Limited in preservation of a signature corner building.

"We'll be doing interior demolition, while Clifford, will be cutting, cataloguing and removing the exterior elements to be cleaned and reinstalled later," says Pastore.

"Demolition work at each of the stations presents interesting challenges, from working in residential neighbourhoods to demolition of buildings with shared walls, foundations and footings. Each station represents a unique project."

Kim Johnson, media relation specialist with Metrolinx, says that the demolition phase of the Eglinton Crosstown project is expected to finish in August.

290416 delsain aim.jpg

Demolition contractors are now in gear, clearing approximately 35 surface buildings and structures to make way for future stations and infrastructure for the Eglinton Crosstown Light Rail Transit project. Delsan-Aim has taken on the multiple demolition sub-contracts. - Photo: GALLOWAY PHOTOGRAPHY FOR DELSAN-AIM

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