21 crossings in the heart of Toronto and Mississauga

In the summer of 2021, Brownline Canada helped break a national record: Michels Canada completed a 3,540 m / 11,614 ft long HDD intersect under Hidden Lake Golf Club in Burlington, ON. This impressive feat was part of a project by Imperial Oil Ltd. to replace a pipeline through the heart of the Toronto and Mississauga metropolitan area. Brownline’s Drillguide Gyro Steering Technology (GST) was used on twenty HDD crossings after the success of Hidden Lake: two of these with Michels Canada and eighteen with R. B. Somerville.

This pipeline, known as the Sarnia Products Pipeline, provides oil products to households and businesses in the area, including jet fuel for Toronto Pearson International Airport. To ensure the continued reliability of their service, Imperial proactively replaced the pipeline between the Waterdown pumping station in Hamilton and the Finch storage terminal in Toronto. This pipeline was installed in the 1960s. The upgraded 12-inch pipeline on the 63 km / 39 mi track is designed to last 50 years.

Installing the new pipeline along the pre-existing pipeline corridor involved crossing under many highways and other major roads, creeks, parks, railways, and golf courses. The most spectacular golf course crossing was Hidden Lake in Burlington, ON. More details about that crossing can be found here. In Mississauga, the pipeline crossed under Centennial Park Golf Centre. This 2,362 m / 7,749 ft long crossing was completed by Michels Canada and using Brownline’s Radar Intersect add-on, as was the Hidden Lake crossing. The Radar add-on allows the two sides of an intersect drilling to meet in the middle perfectly. Highly accurate measurements are used to determine the exact distance between both drill heads.

The Centennial Park HDD also crossed under a creek, a pond and a major road, while pre-existing foreign pipelines added another layer of challenge to this project. With positional measurements supplied by the Drillguide GST, both drills maintained their planned trajectories right up to the intersection point where the two boreholes met. In the face of many obstacles, the Drillguide GST is capable of supplying the driller with accurate and reliable measurements.

Another crossing completed with Michels stretched 1,297 m / 4,255 ft alongside and under a winding creek and river and then crossed another major road, all while penetrating a variety of soil types. The eighteen crossings completed with R. B. Somerville ranged from distances around 400-500 m / 1,500 ft to three crossings exceeding one kilometer. Notable among these were crossings under the Highway 403/407 interchange, Highways 400 and 401, a Metrolinx Railway and various waterways such as Humber River, Etobicoke Creek and Mimico Creek. To ensure the accuracy of the punch-out, these crossings employed Brownline’s GPS Track add-on for additional verification leading up to the exit point. Many transformer stations and overhead power lines were present on the pipeline corridor, but interference is eliminated when working with Brownline’s tools. Bringing in Brownline allowed the contractor to complete the HDDs in a safe, accurate and efficient manner.


Trenchless Technology named this project runner-up for the Project of the Year 2022 award in the category "New Installation"!

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