The British Columbia government announced that Phyllis, the second of two tunnel-boring machines (TBMs) that are constructing twin tunnels for the Broadway Subway Project, broke through to the future Mount Pleasant Station early on the morning of March 18, 2023.

The custom-built, 150-metre-long machine is named after Phyllis Munday, a well-known nurse and mountaineer who founded the Girl Guides in British Columbia. Since departing from Great Northern Way last fall, Phyllis has excavated 725 metres of tunnel and 494 concrete liner rings have been installed along the new section of tunnel.

The Broadway Subway Project will extend the Millennium Line 5.7 kilometres from VCC-Clark Station to West Broadway and Arbutus Street, providing people with fast, convenient SkyTrain service along the Broadway corridor. The corridor is home to B.C.’s second-largest jobs centre, world-class health-care services, an emerging innovation and research hub, and growing residential communities.

The project will result in faster travel, better access and fewer cars on the road in this heavily used corridor. Once in service, the trip from VCC-Clark to Arbutus Station will take 11 minutes, saving the average transit commuter approximately 30 minutes a day and relieving traffic congestion along Broadway.

The first TBM, named Elsie after notable B.C.-born aircraft designer Elizabeth (Elsie) MacGill, broke through at Mount Pleasant Station in late January 2023. Elsie began tunnelling toward the future Broadway-City Hall Station on March 4.

Progress continues to be made at the elevated guideway, where crews are installing girders to connect the 21 columns between VCC-Clark Station and the future Great Northern Way-Emily Carr Station. Excavation and construction of the station foundations are ongoing at the Broadway-City Hall, Oak-VGH, South Granville and Arbutus sites.

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Featured image: Tunnel boring machine, Phyllis arriving in Mount Pleasant on March 18, 2023. (BC Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure)

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