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City of Toronto breaks ground on trapped boring machine after over a year

Toronto has broken ground on a trapped boring machine on the city’s west end, officials confirmed on Saturday.

The machine, trapped under Old Mill Drive since June of 2022, first became stuck when developers began the excavation process for two condo buildings in the area. Less than a month into construction, the machine became ensnared in steel wires underground, and has been stuck there ever since.

The machine’s removal could cost taxpayers up to $25 million.

In a statement to CP24, representatives for the city said on Saturday that crews have begun to remove the first section of the tunnel where the machine is trapped. The full retrieval of the machine is anticipated to take place “over the next couple of weeks.”

Earlier this summer, Judy Tse, interim chief engineer and executive director of construction services for the City of Toronto, expressed empathy for residents affected by the stuck machine.

“I know the incident with the micro-tunnelling boring machine under Old Mill Drive has caused frustration and concern in the community," she said in July. "City staff along with our contractor are working hard to complete this retrieval quickly and safely...we really empathize with the area residents and thank everyone for their patience while we continue this critical work.” Top Stories

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