Southeast Collector Trunk Sewer

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Image Credit: AECOM

Ranking for 2012: 56

Industry Sector: Other

Specific Sector: Water-Wastewater

Range: $500,000,000 - $1 billion

Project Value: $546,000,000

Government Funds Involved:

Funding Source: Public

Location: York and Durham regions, Ontario

Estimated End Date of Substantial Completion: 2016


Although this project has been in development since 2002, the environmental assessment was not approved until early 2010. The earth pressure balance tunnel boring machines, segmental precast concrete tunnel lining, and the bio-filters and bio-scrubbers used for odour control were all procured in advance by the owner. Hatch Mott MacDonald and AECOM (in a joint venture) completed the design of the tunnel, shafts, and surface facilities and are administering the construction contract. Project design involves a 15-kilometre-long, 3,000-millimetre-diameter tunnel with 17 access shafts ranging between four and 48 metres in depth and four to 14 metres in diameter.

In June 2014, the Regional Municipality of York celebrated a breakthrough as the final tunnel-boring machine completed work on the trunk sewer tunnel. “The Southeast Collector trunk sewer is an ambitious project, and after more than 10 years of work, it’s gratifying to have it in the final stages of completion,” York Region chairman and CEO Bill Fisch said. “Seeing the equipment in operation was quite interesting and provided the opportunity to see the positive outcome of this project.”

The new Southeast Collector trunk sewer will accommodate additional sewer flows, enabling future and approved growth in both York and Durham Regions in accordance with the province’s Places to Grow Act. It will also allow the existing Southeast Collector to be inspected and repaired, as required. “For members of Council who have been involved with this project from the very start, the completion of the tunnelling operations is quite rewarding,” said Town of Richmond Hill regional councillor Vito Spatafora, chair of environmental services with the region.

Construction is underway, with tunnelling completed and shafts and facilities being fitted. Live flows were commissioned by the end of 2014. The project is scheduled for completion by 2016.

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