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Broadway Subway Project Prepared for the Second TBM Launch

Broadway Subway Mount Pleasant Station Parking and Access Map

The $1.728bn Broadway Subway project’s works have achieved another landmark with the Broadway Subway Project Corporation, an Acciona-Ghella JV, readying to launch the second tunnel boring machine for the new rapid transit line.

The first TBM launched on Oct. 7, 2022, and made considerable headway toward its first breakthrough at Mount Pleasant Station, while the second TBM is already fully assembled and set to excavate.

The custom-designed TBMs named Elsie and Phyllis, after two significant British Columbians, measure almost 6m in diameter and are 150m in length. Named for Elizabeth (Elsie) MacGill and Phyllis Munday, the TBMs were produced in Germany, shipped to Canada in spring 2022, and assembled on concrete slabs at the launch site near Great Northern Way.

A five-week strike in June 2022 influenced the concrete supply in the Lower Mainland, which impacted the beginning of tunnel excavation. Subsequently, the general plan for project completion shifted from late 2025 into early 2026. A more detailed update on the project timeline is said to be delivered in the spring of 2023 once station mining and tunnel boring are further advanced. In addition, as reported, the project will remain within the budget.

Advancement continues on tunnelling work; over half of the columns for the guideway between VCC-Clark and Great Northern Way-Emily Carr Station are finished. Construction and fit-out of the stations and tracks will start when tunnel excavation has been completed.

This project is a 5.7km extension of the Millennium Line from VCC-Clark Station to Broadway and Arbutus, 700m on the elevated track, and 5km in the twin-tube tunnel and intends to deliver a fast, suitable SkyTrain service along the Broadway corridor, home to B.C.’s second-largest jobs center, world-class health-care services, an emerging innovation and research hub, and growing residential communities.

Faster travel, adequate access and fewer cars on the road in this heavily used corridor are among the results of this project. Once operational, the journey from VCC-Clark to Arbutus Station will take only 11 minutes, saving the average transit commuter nearly 30 minutes per day and reducing congestion along Broadway.

Moreover, the Broadway Subway will help new transit-oriented developments, which form efficient, livable communities and maximize the opportunities provided by investments that the government is making in public transit.

As estimated, the Broadway Subway project will generate over 13,000 direct and indirect jobs during construction, assisting economic development within the region and beyond.

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