OPG Niagara tunnel takes a big step towards completion

Niagara Falls — A significant milestone was achieved this week on the 10-kilometre long Niagara Tunnel. On Nov. 6, workers in the tunnel poured the last bit of concrete required to finish the tunnel liner. This means that the tunnel is now lined with concrete end-to-end moving the project into the final phase of work before its completion.

“The completion of the tunnel lining is a major milestone, which was executed safely, on schedule and on budget,” said Chris Young, OPG’s Vice President of Hydro Thermal Project Execution. “The tunnel is a significant made-in-Ontario engineering accomplishment that will serve Ontarians with clean electricity for more than 100 years.”

In total, about 500,000 cubic metres of concrete was poured, enough to build a sidewalk stretching from Windsor to Quebec City. Over the coming months workers will complete the tunnel grouting operations, and begin removing lighting and service water pipes. In addition, at either end of the tunnel, large structures of steel and earth will need to be removed so that water can flow from the Niagara River through the tunnel leading to the Sir Adam Beck Generating Station. About 300 people are employed on the project and at peak the work force numbered 580.

When completed in mid-2013, the Niagara Tunnel will increase the output at the Sir Adam Beck stations and will provide clean, renewable electricity to about 160,000 homes annually.