Broadway subway hits key milestone as tunnel crew breaks through to 1st station site

WATCH: After months of digging, the tunnel-boring machine known as "Elsie" punched a six-meter wide hole in what will be the eastern wall of the Mount Pleasant station on Monday. The $2.8 billion dollar project will add nearly 6 kilometers to the millennium line along west Broadway from VCC Clark station to Arbutus. According to the schedule, track will start to be laid this spring with the line completed in 2026.

Construction of the Broadway subway in Vancouver hit a key milestone Monday night, as the first of two tunnel boring machines broke through to the Mount Pleasant Station construction site.

The breakthrough represents the first completed tunnel segment on the new line, running from the future Great Northern Way-Emily Carr station to the future Mount Pleasant Station.

Tunneling work to connect the final four stations along the 5.7-kilometre line, ending at Arbutus Street, is expected to take at least a year.

Construction crews are operating two 150-metre long tunnel boring machines, each boring a six-metre-wide shaft.

The first machine, dubbed “Elsie” in recognition of B.C.-born aircraft designer Elizabeth (Elsie) MacGill, will now undergo maintenance, then be pushed through the station construction site to begin boring westward toward Broadway-City Hall station.

The second boring machine, named Phyllis after well-known B.C. naturalist and mountain climber Phyllis Munday, is expected to arrive at the Mount Pleasant site in the spring.

Meanwhile, the Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure said Tuesday that 21 columns for the future elevated guideway that will connect the existing VCC-Clark station to the future Great Northern Way-Emily Carr station were almost complete.

Installation of girders for the track is slated to begin this spring.

Last fall, the ministry announced completion of the $2.8 billion project would be delayed to early 2026, after work was held up by a five-week concrete strike during the summer.

A future expansion from Arbutus Street to UBC is supported by the City of Vancouver, UBC and the TransLink Mayor’s Council, but has not secured funding.

 

© 2023 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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