Construction of the Broadway subway in Vancouver reached a key milestone on Monday night, as the first of two tunnel boring machines broke through the construction site of Mount Pleasant station.
The breakthrough represents the first tunnel segment completed on the new line, running from the future Great Northern Way-Emily Carr station to the future Mount Pleasant station.
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Tunneling work to connect the last four stations along the 5.7 kilometer line, ending at Arbutus Street, is expected to take at least a year.
Construction crews use two 150 meter long tunnel boring machines, each digging a six meter wide shaft.
The first machine, nicknamed “Elsie” after British Columbia-born aircraft designer Elizabeth (Elsie) MacGill, will now be serviced and then pushed through the station’s construction site to start drilling west toward Broadway-City Hall station.
The second drill, named Phyllis after well-known British Columbia naturalist and mountaineer Phyllis Munday, is expected to arrive at the Mount Pleasant site in the spring.
Meanwhile, the Department for Transport and Infrastructure said on Tuesday that the 21 columns of the future elevated guideway that will connect the existing VCC-Clark station to the future Great Northern Way-Emily Carr station are nearing completion.
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Installation of track beams is expected to begin this spring.
Last fall, the ministry announced that completion of the $2.8 billion project would be delayed until early 2026, after work was delayed by a five-week concrete strike over the summer. .
A future expansion of Arbutus Street at UBC is supported by the City of Vancouver, UBC and the Mayor’s Council of TransLink, but has not secured funding.
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