B.C.’s Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure announced that the second tunnel-boring machine has broken through at the future Oak-VGH Station, signalling a new milestone for the Broadway Subway Project.
The machine, named Elsie, broke through the station’s east wall just after 10 a.m. on Saturday, Oct. 28, 2023, following the project’s other tunnel-boring machine, Phyllis, which arrived on Oct. 12. Phyllis and Elsie have each bored two kilometres of parallel tunnels and together have installed more than 2,600 concrete tunnel-liner rings since departing from Great Northern Way-Emily Carr Station. Phyllis is preparing to launch towards South Granville shortly, while Elsie will follow once scheduled maintenance is complete.
The Oak-VGH Station is the fourth of six underground stations along the future Broadway subway corridor.
The Broadway Subway Project is a 5.7-kilometre extension of the Millennium Line 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 neighbourhoods.
The project means faster travel, better access to businesses and services, and fewer cars on the road, which will relieve congestion on this heavily used corridor. Once in service, the trip between VCC-Clark and Arbutus stations will take 11 minutes, saving the average public transit commuter almost 30 minutes a day.
People will have better access to Vancouver General Hospital and the rest of the medical district from the future Oak-VGH Station, located on the southwestern corner of West Broadway and Laurel Street. During construction, a pedestrian bridge above the excavated station maintains access to businesses and services and keeps people moving around the work at this location.
Construction of the concrete walls, columns and floors is underway in various stages at all six stations. The first section of concrete floor for the concourse level has been installed at the future Mount Pleasant Station. At the 700-metre-long elevated guideway section that connects the Broadway Subway Project to the existing Millennium Line, crews continue to build the concrete deck in preparation for track work.
The project supports new transit-oriented developments, which will create efficient, connected communities where people can easily access public transit and have their day-to-day needs conveniently met close to home.
It’s estimated the Broadway Subway Project is creating more than 13,000 direct and indirect jobs during the construction phase, supporting economic development within the region and beyond.
Featured image: Tunnel boring machine Elsie broke through at Oak-VGH Station just after 10 am on October 28, 2023. (BC Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure)