Marathon's venture into self perform Earth Works began in the early 1990's in fulfillment of our own requirements for shaft excavation and utility installation. Today, Marathon constructs mass and detailed excavations in both earth and rock across Canada. Our expertise in design and engineering, rock support, line drilling, blasting, hydraulic rock splitting, rock grinding, and conventional hydraulic rock breaking technologies allows us to take on complex and challenging excavation.

We have completed projects of all scale, from utility tie-ins to mass excavation and hauling for complex mining and infrastructure applications. We have utilized detailed excavation techniques for challenging non-explosive rock removals while working in heritage designated environments and/or in areas of very low vibration limits.

Mass Excavation

In addition to completing mass excavation projects in various capacities for our clients, Marathon will also self perform the excavation within our own shoring systems.

Mass Excavation

Excavation works for the OLRT Confederation Line Phase 2 (Ottawa Light Rail Transit) included bulk excavation within the shoring system, detailed excavation under critical live utilities, and use of long reach excavators for areas of limited access. Various methods of rock support were required, including shotcreting and rock bolting. Secant piles. soil nails, and micro piles were also drilled for ground retention. All work was self performed by Marathon Underground.

Excavation in Confined Spaces

Excavation in projects with Confined Space access pose a unique set of challenges, from ventilation to the higher risk of impact to the structural integrity of surrounding infrastructure. We are well equipped with both the required specialty equipment, as well as the knowledge and experience to work in these environments and have completed various projects in confined space environments.

Excavation in Confined Spaces

Project for PCL Construction - Detailed excavation with shoring system, micro piles, and rock anchors to reinforce footings within the underground parking garage of Adelaide apartment tower in Ottawa for future expansion.

Heritage Focus

Marathon Underground has a long history of performing various scopes of work at heritage sites, and we have taken part in the restoration of many historically significant buildings and sites across Canada. Excavation works in these environments require a meticulous and thoroughly planned approach to mitigate impacts.

Rock Excavation

OLRT Phase 1 - Rock excavation at the entrance to Rideau Station connecting Hudson's bay, a heritage building in Ottawa.

Parliament Hill West Block rehabilitation project

Parliament Hill West Block rehabilitation project. Tunnel constructed under existing limestone block foundations with low vibration tolerances, using both non-explosive and explosive based charges.

Low Vibration Allowance

Whether a project is located in a densely populated urban area, or there is sensitive infrastructure nearby, in projects where there is a low allowance for noise and vibration we use controlled and precise methods for excavation. Specialty equipment, shock absorbing materials , dampening methods, and various other controls are all used to meet the limitations set.

Rock excavation for construction of an adit for the Ottawa CSST

Rock excavation for construction of an adit for the Ottawa CSST (Combined Sewage Storage Tunnel) project at Site 5, Stanley Park. Rock support was required including rock bolting, wire mesh installation and shotcrete.

Excavation of a secant pile drilled shaft

Excavation of a secant pile drilled shaft for tie-in of the West Nepean Collector Sewer. The work required low vibration and near surgical-like shaft sinking technologies over a 2100mm diameter live sanitary sewer.


Marathon has constructed complex scopes of work at Mines across Canada. Applications include tailings pond expansion, dyke construction, portable crushing and grading operations, soil mixing, foundation drilling for new infrastructure, shear key excavation, and even bridge construction.

Excavating for construction of a new tailings pond at Iamgold's Côté lake project in Gogama, Ontario.

Excavating for construction of a new tailings pond at Iamgold's Côté lake project in Gogama, Ontario.

Bell Creek Mine in Timmins

Design-build of a shear key to perform ground improvement at Tahoe Resources' Bell Creek Mine in Timmins, Ontario (Pan American Silver acquisition 2019).

Our Microtunnelling Projects

Discover how Marathon Underground helped install a new watermain in Ottawa, Ontario directly below a major roadway, including support for a 1505mm steel casing and conducting a 200-metre bore through solid rock.

Our Pipeline Work

Find out how our trenchless technology and auger boring has been used in a wide range of pipeline projects, including under roads, railways, rivers and environmentally-sensitive areas.

Our Horizontal Directional Drilling (HDD) Projects

Learn how Marathon Underground carried out an HDD project directly below the St. Maurice River in Shawinigan, Quebec.


Canada's Leading Specialty Underground Contractor

Discover the Marathon Underground Difference

Contact us today for more information on our wide range of drilling and underground services.

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