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Tunnel Boring Begins on Vancouver’s Broadway Subway Project

Broadway Subway Project Site

BSPC 9 Broadway Subway Project Corporation) which is a Ghella and Acciona JV, has launched the first TBM on the scheme to expand Translink’s Millennium Line in Metro Vancouver, Canada.

On 7 October, BSPC launched the first of two tunnel boring machines (TBMs) on the project from the future Great Northern Way-Emily Carr Station.

The final parts of the Herrenknecht manufactured machines arrived in British Columbia in June.

One TBM is going to start excavation followed the by the second this winter and are anticipated to take about a year to finish tunnel boring for the five-kilometer subway extension project to Skytrain rapid transit system. It will link six new underground stations in the Greater Vancouver area in British Columbia (BC).

Approximately, 700m of it is going to be elevated, extending from VCC-Clark Station to a tunnel portal near Great Northern Way. The remaining 5km are being tunneled below the Broadway Corridor from Great Northern Way to Arbutus Street.

Two behemoths named Elsie and Phyllis are assisting to push the Broadway Subway Project forward in Metro Vancouver, British Columbia, in a big way. After months of preparing the launch site and assembling the TBMs, the province of British Columbia says tunnel excavation has started.

Each of the 6m diameter, 1,000t machines are going to launch from the Great Northern Way-Emily Carr Station and are anticipated to take about a year to tunnel five kilometers (3.1 miles) to Cypress Street. Elsie, which is named after Elizabeth MacGill, is going to start its work first. The second machine, Phyllis, which is named after Phyllis Munday, is anticipated to start boring this winter once assembly is done.

Broadway Subway TBM Cutterhead

B.C. Minister of Transportation and Infrastructure, Rob Fleming stated: “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.”

He also added: “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.”

The Broadway Subway Project is going to extend the SkyTrain Millennium Line 5.7 kilometers (3.5 miles) from VCC-Clark Station to Broadway and Arbutus.

The C$2.83-billion (US$2.34-billion) subway project is being funded by the government of British Columbia, which is contributing C$1.83 billion (US$1.51 billion), the government of Canada, which is contributing C$896.9 million (US$740.18 million) and the city of Vancouver, which is contributing C$99.8 million (US$82.36 million).

The province claimed the expanded line will “transform the way people travel and live” along the corridor, plus the region.

B.C. Minister of Environment and Climate Change Strategy, George Heyman mentioned: “The Broadway corridor is an incredibly important economic region in Vancouver and a vital route for commuters.”

The machines are going to excavate through the underground material, move bored material out of the tunnel through a conveyor system and deposit tunnel liner rings. The province revealed that work is progressing on the elevated guideway and station locations along the line, comprising relocating utilities, building traffic decks and excavation.

When the boring completes, crews are going to finish construction of the underground stations and install the train tracks and supporting systems. The final steps contain testing and commissioning the new line.

Broadway Subway Project Conveyour

TransLink CEO, Kevin Quinn said: “The Broadway Subway will be a game changer for commuters on one of the busiest corridors in Metro Vancouver.”

He asserted: “This major milestone brings us one step closer to opening a vital zero-emission rapid transit connection that will move approximately 150,000 people per day, reduce congestion and lower greenhouse gas emissions.”

Ghella Canada area manager for West Canada Marco Ciarlantini pointed: “We are delighted to have been chosen to deliver Broadway Subway project to our client, the Province of British Columbia. We have been preparing for this moment for two years now, with the support of the City of Vancouver, Metro Vancouver, BC Infrastructure Benefits and our valuable subcontractors.”

BSPC was awarded the C$1.7bn (£1.1bn) contract to design and construct the Broadway Subway project in December 2020.

Acciona managing director for North America Carlos Planelles declared: “[The] TBM launch is a significant milestone for the Broadway Subway project and a proud moment for all of us at Acciona. It’s also a testament to our strong collaboration with our client, Transportation Investment Corporation, and the Province of BC, and to the tireless effort of our subcontractors.”

The project is on scheduled to have its new line opened in 2025.

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