When the Toronto Transit Commission (TTC) announced that they were planning a Yonge-University line (now known as the Toronto-York Spadina Subway) expansion to Vaughan, their contractors called upon the 3D measurement experts at Applied Precision 3D to help get the job done. The highly anticipated subway expansion involved adding several new subway stations, including: – Downsview Park – Finch West – York University – Pioneer Village – Highway 407 and Jane – Vaughan Metropolitan Centre. These involved much more complex and progressive designs, fabrication challenges and site construction difficulties that the TTC had not faced in the past.

The Role of 3D Technology in Mass Transit Construction Projects

Applied Precision used advanced LiDAR 3D scanning in conjunction with 3D laser trackers to collect critical measurements needed to verify the unique architecture of each station. Given the tight deadlines, difficult construction environments, and sometimes unpredictable weather conditions, maintaining a safe and stable work environment for everyone was a main concern. 3D modeling of the ‘as-built’ conditions was completed at various stages. The 3D features of these models were then extracted based on 3D measurements that were derived from the worksite. Using advanced technology and 3D inspection software, the Applied Precision team checked and modeled the complex structures of each station.  This involved the core steel structures, concrete structures and features and custom glass installations. Worker safety was always at the forefront for construction contractors and the Applied Precision crews which were working at numerous TTC construction sites. While some of the work was done above ground, some of it was also done below ground, which presented potential safety hazards that needed to be carefully considered and respected. Another formidable challenge was the unpredictable and sometimes inclement weather conditions (rain, snow, sleet, cold, heat, etc.) which pushed the limits of 3D technology used on site.  The Applied Precision crews needed to deploy creative solutions throughout the winter to ensure timely completion of site work under harsh conditions. Despite many challenges associated with each new station, Applied Precision’s 3D measurement and 3D modeling expertise played a key role in helping to ensure that everything went according to plan. The Vaughan Metropolitan Centre station officially opened on December 17, 2017 and now represents the most northerly reaches of TTC’s subway system.

Mass Transit Construction Requires Accurate 3D Scanning

A subway expansion of this magnitude requires precision, accuracy, advanced 3D measurement technology, modeling and 3D analytical expertise to ensure successful design and construction. Above all, it demands patience and thorough planning and coordination. This was a series of complex, multi-faceted projects where every detail had to be perfected. The goal of this expansion was to increase mobility, make the TTC more accessible to GTA residents, and encourage people to take advantage of transit services instead of driving into Toronto. Considering the sheer volume of people who use and rely on the TTC services on a daily basis, accuracy and precision throughout each stage of the project was of upmost importance.

An Historic Engineering and Construction Feat for Toronto Transit Commission

Although the TTC has executed multiple line expansions and re-constructions in the past, this one in particular holds historical significance because of its size and ability to bridge the major gap between York Region and Toronto. It also happens to be one of the largest TTC subway expansions in the past 40 years. “The Applied Precision 3D Team is exceptionally proud to have been a part of such an important expansion of Toronto’s transit infrastructure.” – Robert Bell, President of Applied Precision 3D In addition to the recent TTC expansion, Applied Precision has also worked on a number of similar projects in the transit sector. Past transit sector-based projects include working on the Pickering GO Bridge, numerous TTC bus stations and shelters, several Metrolinx assignments and the Winnipeg International Airport. For more information on 3D scanning technology and expert services, please contact Applied Precision.