Downtown Tunnel

Overview

Rideau Station - Station Rideau

Building a traffic-separated downtown tunnel is the largest single undertaking of the Confederation Line and the key to solving the transit bottleneck in the downtown core. The downtown tunnel will be 2.5 kilometers long with three stations—Lyon, Parliament, and Rideau Station. During construction, day-to-day life will continue as normal, as state-of-the-art mining techniques will minimize impacts on residents and businesses.

Tunnel Features
  • Provides fast, reliable transit in and out of the downtown, avoiding the 14 traffic lights now navigated by city buses.
  • Three stations located at high-traffic destinations for employment, tourism and recreation.
  • The selected tunnel alignment improves access to and from the surface, minimizes overall construction costs, and reduces traffic disruption at the portals.
Construction Approach
  • Sequential excavation means that only three access points are required—a small opening near Kent and Queen, and at the east and west portals—drastically minimizing closures and detours.
  • Using smaller, quieter roadheaders to dig the tunnel, instead of a large tunnel boring machine, will greatly limit noise and vibration for surrounding buildings.
  • Much of the work on the tunnel will happen 16 to 24 metres below bedrock with little sign of what is happening below at street level.
Schedule
  • Construction start: March 2013
  • Construction ends: October 2017