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Sandvik roadheaders to excavate Ottawa’s Confederation Line tunnel in Canada

Rideau Transit Group (RTG), the consortium responsible to design, build, finance and maintain the Confederation Line light rail project, have contracted Sandvik roadheaders for the excavation of the mined tunnel. The 2.5 kilometer long tunnel that runs under Ottawa's downtown core is one of the principal features of the project.

Sandvik roadheaders to excavate Ottawa's Confederation Line tunnel in Canada

The Canadian city of Ottawa currently has the highest public transport ridership of any city its size in North America and the growth is estimated to continue by more than 78% in the next 20 years. Such a high growth rate has led the city to reach the maximum transport capacity in its downtown streets. In order to meet the demand, the City of Ottawa decided to move forward and build the Confederation Line.

The project includes 12.5 kilometers of light rail, 13 stations and the conversion of portions of the existing bus transit way into light rail technology. Within the 2.5 km tunnel, 3 underground stations will be built in the very core of downtown. Construction of the project began in spring 2013 and the system is scheduled to open to the public in 2018.

The project budget of CAD 2.13 billion makes the Confederation Line the largest project in the history of the City of Ottawa. It is also one of the first conversions of a Bus Rapid Transit system to Light Rail Transit technology in North America. Furthermore, it is the first part of a LRT network that will span for more than 40 km across the city.

OLRT Constructors, RTG's contractor on this design, build, finance and maintain project decided to use three Sandvik MT720 roadheaders for the excavation of the tunnel mainly because of their excellent economy as well as low levels of noise and dust. All three machines are fully PLC controlled and equipped with a "Roadheader Guidance System" which ensures that the machine maintains its absolute position in the tunnel axis with the highest precision. In combination with the profile control and visualization, the system keeps over excavation within 5 cm. An extensive diagnosis system monitors the machine, providing real time essential status data of vital functions and components. The machines are also equipped with auxiliary diesel engines that allow operating all hydraulic functions, including tramming, without the necessity of connecting the machine to the main electric power supply.

Dimensions MT720
Machine weight 135t
Machine length (incl. swivel belt) 19,1m
Machine height 4,8 m
Cutting Profile
Cutting height 6,6m
Cutting width 9,1m
Installed Electrical Power
Total installed power 555kW
Cutter motor power 300kW

For more information, please contact:

Satu Rämö
Global Marketing Communication Manager
Sandvik Construction
Office Phone: +358 205 44 151
Mobile Phone: +358 40 537 4020

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