LAVAL METRO EXTENSION
On April 26, 2007, 40 years after the Montréal metro first began operation for the Universal and International Exposition of 1967, the Laval metro extension was officially inaugurated with Québec Premier Jean Charest, Montréal mayor, Mr. Gérald Tremblay, and Laval mayor, Gilles Vaillancourt present. As the principal contractor of this large scale project – the biggest urban worksite Québec has seen in recent years – the AMT, represented by its Chief Executive Officer, Mr. Joël Gauthier, officially handed the keys to the three new Laval stations to Mr. Claude Trudel, chairman of the board of directors of the STM, which operates the Montréal metro network.
On April 28, 2007, the three new metro stations in Laval opened their doors to the public two months ahead of schedule. During the two weekend open houses, approximately 150,000 people tried them out, which was a clear sign that this mode of transport was badly needed. After five years of intensive work, it was time for a toast to success.
The project, which started in March 2002, was completed on time and within budget. The opening date was two months ahead of the initial schedule, which called for the metro to be opened in July 2007. The total cost of the project came to $745 M, representing savings of $58.6 M versus the approved $803.6 M budget. That amount breaks down to $143.2 M/km, which is 22% lower than the international average of $175 M/km for similar scale projects.
Thank you to all our partners and stakeholders who in their various ways, each contributed to the success of the Laval metro extension project.
Major phases of the project
Scope of project
- October 2001: preparatory work (characterization of soils, geotechnical investigations, land surveying and preparation of construction sites)
- March 2002: first groundbreaking ceremony
- Fall 2002 to winter 2004: excavation
- March 2004: linking of tunnels under the river
- Summer 2004: closing of Henri-Bourassa station for 14 weeks in order to connect the new tunnel to the existing one
- Winter 2004 to fall 2005: concreting of tunnel
- Winter 2005 to spring 2006: architectural work (construction of the three stations)
- Summer and fall 2006: outside work
- December 2006: start of implementation phase (tests)
- January to April 2007: structural work (correction of defects, additional work requested by the
- STM, construction of building hosting concessions at Cartier station, final installation of fixed equipment): site development work (inside and outside)
- February to March 2007: transfer of the Centre de formation souterrain en prévention incendie, tests et rodage des commandes centralisées to the STM, start of trials campaign with trains
- April 26, 2007: official inauguration
- April 28 and 29, 2007: Open door
- April 30, 2007: project implementation
The Laval metro extension project constitutes one of the biggest urban worksites Québec has seen in recent years.
A few statistics
- close to 90 construction lots (fixed infrastructures and equipment) awarded through public invitations to tender
- 11 major worksites simultaneously in operation in Laval and in Montréal
- Tunnel 5.2 km excavated
- 5 to 7 tunnel blasts (dynamiting) a day in Laval, from September 2002 to February 2004
- 40,000 cubic meters of rocks excavated
- average of 250 trucks a day at the peak of the excavation
- average of 1500 to 2000 cubic metres of concrete poured daily during the peak of concreting activities in the tunnel
- close to 20 km or railway lines, guide bars and bearings & hub assemblies
- 12 switches and crossings, each weighing approximately 70 tonnes, installed for track changes
- 17,000 tonnes of steel reinforcement used in the project
- 5,027,412 person-hours, including over 700 workers at the peak of activities (March 2007 data)
- rate of accidents with lost time very low compared to industry average
The extension of line 2 east (orange) of the metro to Laval involves a total of 5.2 km of railway track and includes the implementation of three new stations: Cartier, de la Concorde (intermodal with Montréal/Blainville–Saint-Jérôme commuter train) and Montmorency. The work was spread over a period of five years, going from March 2002 to April 2007, with the AMT as the principal contractor. Given its scope, its complexity, its structuring effects and its benefits, this Laval metro extension project is the biggest project to be realized recent years.
Cartier station : Occupying the quadrangle comprised of the Cartier and des Laurentides Boulevards and of Labelle and Montée Major Streets, it includes an aedicula, a bus terminal with many feeder bus services (10 covered bus-loading zones and 30 waiting positions), a building hosting concessions, a 525-spot park-and-ride lot, a short-term parking and quick drop-off area, as well as a fleet of bicycles and a taxi stand, right at the station exit.
De la Concorde station : Situated off the de la Concorde–Ampère intersection, and bordering the de la Concorde viaduct, it includes an aedicula with two access levels, an off-street short-term parking and quick drop-off area, a fleet of bicycles and a taxi stand, right at the station exit, as well as a train station. This station is intermodal with the Montréal/Blainville–Saint-Jérôme commuter train.
Montmorency station : This station is part of the Montmorency Complex. Facing Collège Montmorency, in the the quadrangle comprised of the de la Concorde, Le Corbusier, du Souvenir and de l’Avenir Boulevards, this complex incorporates a metro station, two auxiliary structures, a bus terminal, a marshalling yard, a garage and a maintenance workshop for trains, located underneath the 1500-spot (including 800 underground) multi-storey parking, an off-street short-term parking and quick drop-off area, a fleet of bicycles and a taxi stand, right at the station exit.
Platform, auxiliary structures and tunnel
The project was handled primarily by SNC-Lavalin, the lead underwriter of the SGTM consortium. The EPCM mode (Engineering, Procurement and Construction Management) was adopted for the project, which also involved the construction of:
A tunnel 5.2 kilometers long had to be dug. The section between the Henri-Bourassa station and Cartier, the first station on the Laval territory, required that a tunnel be driven under water, which was a particularly complex task. The engineers working on the project had to use non-traditional construction methods to drill, while protecting the existing underground infrastructures and to make up for unfavourable local soil conditions. Before the tunnel driving was begun, the rock was reinforced and a temporary vault built for the junction of the two tunnels under the rivière des Prairies with limited rock cover. A model structural and freestanding tunnel was developed, along with a specific excavation approach, for drilling through a tunnel located so close to underground infrastructures, in order to avoid damage during the actual construction and to prevent any delays in the operation of the metro service.
- eight complete auxiliary structures with mechanical ventilation stations, ventilation shafts, traction and distribution sub-stations, signage and communication stations, dewatering stations and emergency exits;
- an underground garage capable of holding five sets of metro cars underneath the Montmorency station parking structure;
- a by-pass track, a third platform and new developments (access corridors) at the Henri-Bourassa station
This being the first metro extension in 20 years, technologies have evolved significantly, and so new technologies had to be adapted to accommodate older ones. Moreover, there was the need to adapt to current conditions of the metro (tracks, tunnels, fixed equipment) and to comply with rock conditions, tunnel drilling and excavations in an urban setting (dust, noise, vibrations, vacant lots). The stretch retained made things even more complicated in terms of linking the new leg at the level of the existing station, Henri-Bourassa. Regarding management, the process was complicated by the large number of contracts and agreements involved, in addition to the multidisciplinary and multipartner coordination needed.