Tunnel to Toronto Island airport starts construction
Arup is leading the design of the underwater tunnel connecting Toronto’s downtown to the Billy Bishop Toronto City Airport located on Toronto Island.
Prime Minister Stephen Harper and Finance Minister Jim Flaherty were on the windy lakefront site last week for the official start of construction on the pedestrian tunnel. It will cost $82.5 million and is scheduled to open in the spring of 2014.
Currently travelers have to take a short ferry ride of about 10 minutes over a strip of water to reach the airport. The airport is now handling over 1.5 million passengers a year — a 50-fold increase since 2006.
A few years ago the city had a design for a bridge over the lake crossing, but that solution was jettisoned by the city council of the time.
The current mayor, Mayor Rob Ford, is keen on the tunnel solution, not only because it is being built and financed by the private sector, but also because the tunnel has a double function — it will carry new sewage and watermain infrastructure for the island, saving the city approximately $10 million.
Forum Infrastructure Partners, led by Forum Equity Partners, is the P3 consortium that was selected over two others by the owner, Toronto Port Authority. The consortium will design, build, finance and maintain the tunnel for 20 years. It includes Arup as lead designer, ZAS Architects, and Exp as geotechnical engineers. The facility manager is Johnson Controls.
Dillon Consulting prepared the environmental screening report for the project.