VANCOUVER – The Broadway Subway project has entered a new critical phase of construction as tunnel excavation has begun to connect six new underground stations to a 5.7 kilometre extension of the existing Millennium Line.
Two cylindrical tunnel-boring machines weighing one million kilograms apiece and measuring six metres in diameter will launch separately from the Great Northern Way-Emily Carr Station and tunnel five kilometres to reach their destination at Cypress Street near the site of 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 B.C. Minister of Transportation and Infrastructure Rob Fleming in a statement.
Each boring machine is estimated to take about a year to carve out the inbound and outbound tunnels, with one about to start tunnelling and the other in assembly and expected to start operating in the winter.
In preparation for the boring machines, tunnel liner rings manufactured in Nanaimo, B.C. have been transported to the construction site as crews built a concrete base slab and assembled a conveyor system to transport excavated material out of the tunnel. Work is also progressing on an elevated guideway and station locations along the line as well as relocating utilities, building traffic decks and excavating.
“The Broadway Subway will be a game changer for commuters on one of the busiest corridors in Metro Vancouver. 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,” TransLink CEO Kevin Quinn said.
Video of the tunnel-boring construction site is below.