Sign in to follow this  
Airband

Toronto Island tunnel won't stay dead

Recommended Posts

Port Authority plans a foot tunnel to island airport

Fri Jan 29, 2010 - Toronto Star

Debra Black

The Toronto Port Authority says it intends to go ahead with a foot tunnel connecting the island airport and the city’s western harbour.

In a news release Friday, the authority said it was looking for partners and proposals to help “design, build, finance, operate and maintain a pedestrian tunnel.”

“In light of the popularity of the Billy Bishop Toronto City Airport with travellers and airlines, it’s the right time to move forward with the pedestrian tunnel initiative,” said Mark McQueen, chairman of the TPA board of directors.

McQueen said in an interview with the Star that the aiport is looking for a private consortium – either a pension or infrastructure fund - that will take all the equity risk of the project.

More and more, big infrastructure projects are being financed this way, he said. “They (pension or infrastructure funds) take on the equity risk and passengers pay for the use of the tunnel when they travel just like they do now for the use of ferries, sweepers and snowplows.”

This option is “an elegant solution to a good idea,” McQueen said. “It’s an accepted model in theis day and age.”

'The plan is for the tunnel’s construction and operational costs to be recovered through an airport improvement fee paid by airline passengers'

4317480350_4b535dbf6f.jpg

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

See where it says "Estimated cost $20 to $40 million"? That means it will cost $60 million. The "to" is really a political sell-job plus sign.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Seems like a lot of money to replace the ferry service, which will still be needed to move vehicles and supplies.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Miller is history, just build the damn bridge!

You are correct and so is JO. They will still require the ferry boats for vehicle traffic but Porter drops off the bus service passengers at the dock anyways. This will only eliminate the waiting time for passengers.

This bridge/tunnel story could be full one hour documentary by the one of our TV networks or the CBC. I flew for another famous Dash 8 operation from YTZ in the mid 80s, and the whole bridge issue was already a 25 year old saga way back when.

Deluce had all of the materials ready to build some kind of a bridge a few years ago, however, Mayor Miller shut it down costing the city of Toronto about 30 million after Deluce put his lawyers on the case.

The real solution is a tunnel. A curving tunnel to handle the short distance and get below the western gap. And finally get rid of the ferry boats, they can't always run in heavy winds/waves so it becomes a problem.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Why in creation would they dig deeper than 100' to build a tunnel when an overhead walkway would be a fraction of the cost? It need not be unsightly. It would be immensely easier to maintain & monitor. Should the airport be closed, it could be deconstructed.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Why in creation would they dig deeper than 100' to build a tunnel when an overhead walkway would be a fraction of the cost? It need not be unsightly. It would be immensely easier to maintain & monitor. Should the airport be closed, it could be deconstructed.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Looking at the drawing it appears they will be using elevators to bring everybody down, then we hope, moving walkways to get accross. ( 5.00 extra charge to use them, walking is free ) Just having come through FRA again, the tunnel between the B and A terminal is what the THC thing reminds me. All the transfers airside have to take two small elevators to a tunnel under the tarmac. Then two small elevators back up. There is a staircase but not very practical if you have more than a carry on. The lines were incredible, and it took us 20 minutes to finally get on the elevator. If thats what THC are proposing for their 60 million, they should stay with the Ferry's.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Why in creation would they dig deeper than 100' to build a tunnel when an overhead walkway would be a fraction of the cost? It need not be unsightly. It would be immensely easier to maintain & monitor. Should the airport be closed, it could be deconstructed.

The 'gap' has to remain open to marine traffic which would require the walkway deck provide 100'+ clearance which would pretty well necessitate elevators (or at least defibrillators after schlepping bags up/down 9-10 stories). Vehicle bridge that had originally been approved/reneged on was a 'lift bridge' design.

.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Why in creation would they dig deeper than 100' to build a tunnel when an overhead walkway would be a fraction of the cost? It need not be unsightly. It would be immensely easier to maintain & monitor. Should the airport be closed, it could be deconstructed.

You are correct Moon.....a bridge structure might be cheaper and could solve the problem. However, as Airband hs mentioned the western gap needs to remain open for marine traffic which includes all sorts of tall ships and Great Lakes sized vessels. A drawbridge/swingbridge/liftbridge arrangement would still have someone waiting, either Porter passengers or boats heading in and out of the harbour. This has been part of the never ending debate with the fixed link to the Island airport.

If YTZ was Dubai, by now they'd have built three man-made islands in Lake Ontario in the shape of a beaver, moose and maple leaf with one housing a 10,000' CAT II/III runway. Of course a Hab's 'C & H' would easily fit two runways surrounded by beach front property. :lol:

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I've spent a lot of time down at the Island over the yrs and can't actually recall ever seeing anything bigger than a large sailboat transit the western gap. I suppose they must but it has to be very infrequently. A pontoon bidge even seems more sensible than a tunnel.

Edited by Specs

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks folks for the replies. Building the walkway high would still (I would think) be immensely cheaper than digging under the water channel and maintaining the tunnel, providing security, and all problems associated with such a deep structure.

Oh well, we're having a tunnel conundrum in Ottawa as the idiots in city hall have insisted on digging up the centre of the city to put an underground corridor for rapid transit in liew of what I think would be best - a suspended overhead rail system.

You can't fight city hall.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
The Western Gap is east of the geododistic dome which identifies Ontario Place. To the south is Toronto Island with the airport hangers and taxiways bordering the southern edge of the gap.

Caution the Western Gap is extremely busy and narrow. It is critical that you pay attention to the range and sailboats should motor through the gap. Most commercial traffic now uses the main eastern gap for entry to the inner harbour. CAUTION- low flying aircraft approach and land at the Island airport. Obey, the keep out postings, white and orange buoys, and light buoys which are at both ends of the airport runways.

Toronto Western Gap itself is a narrow channel with a minimum width of 300 feet and minimum depth of 27 feet. The sides is are concrete with no place to pause or tie up. CAUTION a passenger ferry crosses the western Gap every 15 " to the island airport.

I would think that is most commercial traffic is using the eastern gap then possibly all traffic above a certain height could be redirected to the eastern gap thus allowing a fixed bridge of a lower height to be built. This would mostly impact sailing vessels.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
Sign in to follow this