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Arup's Billy Bishop Toronto City Airport Pedestrian Tunnel Wins Canadian Tunnelling Association Award

Pedestrian tunnel 40 metres below ground will improve access to the island airport

Arup, a multidisciplinary engineering and consulting firm with a reputation for delivering innovative and sustainable designs, has announced that the Billy Bishop Toronto City Airport Pedestrian Tunnel project has won the Tunnelling Association of Canada (TAC) 2014 Canadian Project Award. A ceremony was held at the Sheraton Wall Centre in Vancouver on Monday evening, October 27th.

The TAC Canadian Project awards recognize deserving individuals and projects in the Canadian and worldwide tunnelling sectors. Billy Bishop was selected because it is the first time in Canada that an innovative pre-support technique was used to drill seven 1.85m-diameter interlocking drift bores above a main tunnel crown using tunnel boring machines. It was also selected because of the coordination it took to perform tunneling logistics on a congested site; because of the numerical analysis Arup performed to validate the temporary and permanent tunnel lining design; and because of the research and use of a proprietary concrete-mix design technology for drift bore backfill concrete, allowing it to remain fluid for 12 or more hours before hardening.

"As lead designers, we're thrilled Billy Bishop been recognized by the Tunnelling Association of Canada and are proud of our involvement in the project," said Jon Hurt, principal and Arup's project manager. "We developed the design to meet the Toronto Port Authority's aim for a world class facility while working closely with the Forum/PCL/Technicore team to make the tunnel efficient to build and operate."

The Billy Bishop pedestrian tunnel will improve access to Toronto's downtown airport, which is currently only reachable by ferry, and will accommodate the movement of more than 1,000 people per hour.

The project is being delivered using a DBFM public-private partnership model. Arup is the lead engineering designer for the project, responsible for the design of the tunnel and associated water and sewer mains. The firm is also providing structural, mechanical, electrical, plumbing, geotechnical, civil, utilities, acoustic, IT, communications, and security consulting. Engineering challenges involved the construction of a watertight 10 metre-wide tunnel 40 metres below ground and working within a constrained site while keeping the airport fully operational.

This project builds on and recognizes Arup's involvement with several other innovative tunnel projects in the Greater Toronto Area, including the Hydro One Midtown Tunnel, Kennedy Road Watermain, Weston Road Grade Separation Superpipe, and Hanlan Feedermain Contract 3. Arup is also the designer of a range of high profile projects in the Toronto area, including two stations on the Spadina Line subway extension, three of the venues for the Pan-am Games and a new School of Engineering at York University.

The Tunnelling Association of Canada (TAC) brings together Canadian, North American and International individuals and firms to promote and advance Canadian tunnelling and underground excavation technologies and to represent the interests of the tunnelling and underground excavation community in matters of technical and public concern. Design sub-consultants include ZAS Architects and Interiors, and Exp Geotechnical Engineers 

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