Construction of the Côte-Vertu garage

A busy year for the Côte-Vertu garage project team!

During 2018, we completed several phases in the construction of the Côte-Vertu garage. The work mainly involved excavation activities, which included boring underground tunnels and pits, installing consolidation bolts and applying sprayed concrete to reinforce the structure.

In 2018, more than 630,000 tons of rock was excavated, crushed, loaded and removed from the site to make way for 1.5 km of underground tunnels. We also finished excavating three open pits where the auxiliary structures with surface facilities will be built.

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Did you know?

The stone excavated from the Côte-Vertu garage site was used to build the approaches to the new Samuel De Champlain Bridge.

A project of this size requires careful and complex coordination between the various trades and activities on the worksite. While excavation work occupied 2018, concrete work will fill the agenda in 2019. Specialized teams are busy installing reinforcing steel and travelling forms.

Check out the worksite highlights below!

Consult the accessibility page for more info on the external medias.

See Construction of the Côte-Vertu garage : concrete work is in progress (French with English subtitles) on YouTube

Consult the accessibility page for more info on the external medias.

See The transformation of the underground storage spaces on YouTube

Excavation of the new tunnel linking the underground garage to the Côte-Vertu station is in full swing! Our teams are working around the clock to build this 600-metre tunnel 25 metres below street level. By the end of the digging, we will have excavated the equivalent of 14 Olympic swimming pools of rock!

Consult the accessibility page for more info on the external medias.

See the worksite on YouTube

June 29: Excavation work for the underground infrastructure of the garage will continue all summer

The excavation of our new train garage is progressing rapidly. We have dug out more than 560 metres of the connecting tunnel. The excavation of the tunnel leading to the workshop is complete. The second one is 73% finished, and the third is 32%.

The open pit excavation of the workshop’s seven underground floors and the section that will join the connecting tunnel to the shaft of the employee emergency exit will be finished soon.

The image below shows the excavation progress.

(1) Connecting track (2) Emergency exit for employees (3) Fan of tracks (4) Train maintenance shop entrance (5) Train storage spaces – tunnel 1 (6) Train storage spaces – tunnel 2 (7) Train maintenance pit (8) Mechanical ventilation station (9) Current underground storage spaces

The worksite is like a mining operation. All precautions are taken to ensure workers’ safety. Among other measures, the names of the workers on the site are posted at the tunnel entrances.

The roadheader literally crushes the rock, which is then loaded and disposed of. In technical jargon, this is called “mucking”.

The roadheader has a total of 240 teeth (120 per head).

To ensure equal wear, the teeth are rotated.

Depending on wear, an average of 10 to 30 teeth are changed each day.

The sprayed concrete is 50 mm thick. It keeps small pieces of rock from falling from the tunnel wall between the excavation and concreting phases.

To improve adherence, 45 kg of steel fibre is added per cubic metre of sprayed concrete. Seen close up, the sprayed concrete wall has thousands of small metallic “hairs”.

Consolidation bolts prevent large chunks of rock from falling.

The artificial cave created by the workers is starting to look more and more like a tunnel where Azur trains will one day run.

Since March 26, 2018, the first departures from Henri-Bourassa métro station to Montmorency are at:

  • 6:09 a.m. from Henri-Bourassa métro station
  • 6:10 a.m. from Cartier métro station
  • 6:13 a.m. from De la Concorde métro station.


The works underway in the Côte-Vertu area mean that more trains must be parked at the Henri-Bourassa garage. Changing the schedules in the Montmorency direction will release more trains quicker, to maintain the service on the orange line, despite the building works.

Your travel options

Bus line 2 departures – Direction Montmorency from the Société de transport de Laval were added to replace the two missing departures on the orange line, in the same direction. Don’t forget to obtain a valid pass and consult the schedules before you move. 

The project continues

In December 2017, we started construction of the tunnel that will allow métro cars to access the new garage from Côte-Vertu station.  The excavation necessary for creation of this new tunnel, approximately 600 metres long, is being done at a depth of 25 metres below street level.

For this purpose, we are using a shield excavator, a machine specially designed for this type of excavation. Use of this equipment makes it possible to limit the negative impacts on neighborhood, while limiting vibrations and noise.

Once the tunnel is completely excavated, we will begin concreting, equipment installation and cabling.

Dynamiting operations to excavate the main site will start on Friday, August 25 and continue at intervals until December 2017. During the initial weeks, only one blast will be carried out each day around 5 pm. Afterwards, two blasts a day will be needed, either at 9 am or 12 noon and again around 5 pm.

A 35-metre radius security perimeter will be set up for a few minutes each time, and a warning signal, sounding 12 times, once every second, will alert you to the imminent dynamite blast. You could hear, even feel the explosion, a totally normal situation, when such excavating operations take place.

Since spring, the general contractor has been gradually installing construction site trailers. One by one, the heavy machinery has been arriving on the site. Soil samples are being collected to ensure its disposal is handled properly: contaminated soil will be removed, while the rest can be reused on our site or another one. The noise abatement wall next to rue Grenet has already been built. The imposing area taken up by the construction site is equal to four football fields.

A variety of materials are currently being delivered on site, in order to carry out the next steps: 

  • Establishing construction site boundaries with a fence
  • Relocating a water main

We are beginning construction of the underground Métro garage, located at the intersection of Rue Grenet, Boulevard Thimens and Boulevard Marcel-Laurin.

Construction of this new infrastructure is required to meet four objectives:

  • Add track space for parking trains
  • Increase passenger capacity by improving frequency of service and by adding more trains on the Orange line during peak period
  • Handle the growth in ridership expected in coming years
  • Ensure that the offer of service expands to keep pace with the Blue line’s forthcoming extension

Three surface buildings are necessary for this garage’s operation.

The first, three storeys high, will be erected on the part of the land located above the garage. It will give access to the garage and the employees’ workplace.


Two auxiliary structures will also be built. The first, which will be located near the Recreation Centre, will serve as an emergency exit for the personnel. The second, located near the Super C supermarket, will allow access to a mechanical ventilation station and will also be used as an emergency exit.


The underground garage is the most imposing infrastructure to be built. It will be composed of a yard, located at the garage entrance, that will allow trains to proceed to one of the tunnels in which trains can be accommodated. A lead track will allow train traffic between the Côte-Vertu station and the garage. Finally, a train maintenance pit will be integrated into the garage to perform more efficient interventions on the rolling stock fleet. The depth of the underground garage can be compared to a 10-storey building.

It became necessary to add parking space at that end of the Orange line to maintain a balance between the number of holding spaces at each extremity of the line. That balance will allow us to improve the frequency of service, among other things.

Five trains can currently be parked in the garage behind Montmorency station and 20 others at Henri-Bourassa garage. These recent infrastructures, built when the métro was extended into Laval, have certainly helped to uphold the quality of service. But, on the other hand, no such infrastructure has been added to the west end of the line since 1986.

Ten trains are currently housed in the station tail tracks. The new Côte-Vertu garage can hold an additional ten spaces.  

The construction work will last approximately four years.

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Several activities will be conducted simultaneously in different places to allow acceleration of the project and minimize the duration of the work.

May to July 2017

  • Mobilization of our teams and power shovel excavation.

August 2017 to December 2017

  • Excavation and cut-and-cover blasting of the rock where the yard will be located.
  • Blasting generally will be used Monday to Friday, once a day, at the end of the day.

September 2017 to June 2018 

  • Cut-and-cover excavation for the building giving access to the garage.

November 2017 to November 2019

  • Excavation and concreting of the garage tunnels and the lead track to the afterbay cavern of the Côte-Vertu station.

This work will be performed underground, using a mechanical tunnel excavation method, which consists of working with a machine called a cutter. This allows efficient excavation of the rock, reduces vibrations and replaces blasting.

January 2018 to June 2018

  • Construction of the building giving access to the garage.
  • A 13-storey building will be constructed. 10 storeys will be underground and three will be erected above-ground.

May 2018 to November 2018 

  • Cut-and-cover excavation and concreting of the auxiliary structures.

July 2018 to November 2018

  • Construction of the auxiliary structure located near the Recreation Centre.

September 2018 to August 2019

  • Concreting of the yard.

December 2018 to March 2019

  • Construction of the auxiliary structure located near the Super C supermarket.

After spring 2019

  • Installation of the necessary equipment for operation of the garage.


To reduce the sources of noise coming from the cut-and-cover excavation, anti-noise walls will be constructed at the beginning of the work. They will be constructed near locations where we will perform excavation. Rigorous monitoring of the noise level and the vibrations will allow us to take the appropriate corrective actions.

Blasting generally will be used from Monday to Friday, once a day, at the end of the day.

The other underground components of the garage will be produced by using a mechanical tunnel excavation method, which consists of working with a machine called a cutter. This allows efficient excavation of the rock and reduces vibrations. By using this method, we replace excavation by blasting. Since the excavation is underground, it will be performed over a longer period during the week, but without causing nuisances for the job site’s neighbours.


The job site will be watered in a timely manner, particularly during dryer periods, and will mitigate dust release. The streets adjacent to the job site will also be cleaned to prevent earth from accumulating. Finally, a truck cleaning area will be developed within the job site.


A trucking plan has been developed to minimize truck traffic on local streets. Heavy vehicles will mainly take Boulevards Thimens, Marcel-Laurin and Côte-Vertu. The development of a traffic lane within the job site will eliminate on-street traffic.

We must add a switch in the forebay cavern, which will allow trains to be routed straight to the departure platform. This addition will allow us to put trains into service faster.

This step will eventually require the temporary closing of Côte-Vertu station. We will also take the opportunity to do major repairs in the station. We are drawing up an action plan that will allow you to use bus and métro services during this period. The information regarding the closing will be communicated on our website.

To minimize the impacts for the clientele, the closing is scheduled during the summer. This is one of the least busy periods of the year. We will keep you informed of the solutions put in place to transport you by bus and métro. The addition of elevators in Du Collège station will ensure easier access to the métro.

No. The work site will be located on empty lots that were bought by the STM. The trench excavation site will include a temporary access ramp that will extend all the way down to the bottom of the excavation pit to remove all soil material. Trucks will enter the site from boulevard Marcel-Laurin.

Indeed. The possibility of a 2-minute interval between trains during rush hour is foreseeable. Today, that interval stands at 2 minutes and 30 secondes.

Working to obtain an ENVISION award

In line with our commitment to integrate the best sustainability practices into our own, we are working toward obtaining an ENVISION award for this project. While LEED certification is relevant to above-ground buildings, it does not apply to infrastructure projects. The ENVISION verification was developed specifically for unconventional infrastructure projects, such as the métro. Other public transit authorities in Portland and Boston use it as their reference while, closer to home, designers and engineers for the new bridge spanning the St. Lawrence River are also aiming to obtain this award.

A mechanical ventilation station fulfills three essential tasks:

• Comfort  ventilation: Regulates the indoor tempreature for the comfort of passengers. Trains produce nearly 80% of all heat in the underground network merely by braking and accelerating.

Night-time ventilation: Ensures a supply of fresh air for workers at night carrying out routine maintenances tasks. These workers use diesel engine vehicles to move along the tracks as the power supply is cut off at night.

Emergency ventilation: Used for smoke control. Provides a safe evacuation route for transit users and a safe access route for firefighters, should an incident occur.

Area resident?

Area resident?

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This project was made possible by funding from the governments of Canada and Quebec through the implementation of the Public Transit Infrastructure Fund.

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