News / Ottawa

Tunnel boring machine working under Ottawa

Construction project will create new sewer tunnel

The four-metre wide face of Ottawa's tunnel boring machine will start carving deep underneath the city this fall to create a new tunnel.

City of Ottawa / Supplied

The four-metre wide face of Ottawa's tunnel boring machine will start carving deep underneath the city this fall to create a new tunnel.

A giant, 250-metre-long, rock carving machine, will soon be rumbling beneath city streets as the combined sewage storage tunnel takes shape.

The city announced Tuesday the tunnel boring machine was being lowered into an access shaft at Chamberlain Avenue and Kent Street and will soon start grinding out the tunnel.

The machine will bore a two-kilometre tunnel underneath downtown Ottawa before emerging near the Supreme Court. It’s 250 metres long, four metres in diameter and can chew through 20 to 25 metres of rock every day.

The tunnel is designed to significantly reduce the possibility raw sewage will flow into the Ottawa River during heavy rainfalls. It will allow the water to be treated before heading into the river, which is not always the case now.

The project will cost $232.3 million with funding from all three levels of government.

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