Vancouver’s Broadway Subway Project has reached a critical phase of construction with the start of tunnel excavation to connect six new underground stations on the 5.7km extension of the Millennium Line.
The expanded line will transform the way people travel and live along the Broadway corridor and throughout Metro Vancouver and will provide faster, more convenient and more affordable travel options for workers and families.
Two TBMs, each 6m in diameter will be launched separately from the Great Northern Way-Emily Carr Station and tunnel 5km to reach their destination at Cypress Street, near the future Arbutus Station.
“This is an exciting milestone for a critical infrastructure project that will transform the way people travel and live in and around the Broadway corridor,” said Rob Fleming, B.C. Minister of Transportation and Infrastructure. “The Broadway Subway will provide affordable and efficient transit connections throughout the Lower Mainland, and it’s also going to create new opportunities for affordable housing, community amenities and commercial services along the route.”
Each TBM is expected to take about a year to carve out the subway’s inbound and outbound tunnels. The TBMs have been given the names Elsie and Phyllis, after two influential British Columbian women, Elizabeth (Elsie) MacGill and Phyllis Munday. Elsie is about to start tunnelling. Phyllis is being assembled and is expected to begin operating this winter.
In preparation for the TBMs, tunnel liner rings, manufactured in Nanaimo, were transported to the construction site as crews built the concrete base slab and assembled the conveyor system to transport the excavated material out of the tunnel. At the same time, work is progressing on the elevated guideway and station locations along the line, including relocating utilities, building traffic decks and excavation.
Once tunnel boring finishes, crews will complete construction of the underground stations, and install the train tracks and supporting systems. The final steps include testing and commissioning the new line.
The Broadway Subway will extend the Millennium Line from VCC-Clark Station to Broadway and Arbutus, providing people with fast, convenient SkyTrain service along the Broadway corridor, home to B.C.’s second largest jobs centre, health-care services, an emerging innovation and research hub, and growing residential communities.
The Broadway Subway Project Corporation, an Acciona-Ghella joint venture was awarded the $1.728bn contract to design, construct and partially finance the Broadway Subway Project. The line is scheduled to be in service in 2025.