Construction work on the new Broadway Subway Project is already underway on the tunneling phase prior to completing the six underground stations along its 5.7 km route. Once inaugurated, this line, which serves as an extension of the Millennium Line, will reduce the travel time between VCC-Clark and Arbutus to just 11 minutes, saving the average transit commuter almost 30 minutes a day.

This new subway line will consist of a subway section of approximately five-kilometres, while the remaining 700 meters will be built above ground to connect to VCC-Clark Station. Sarens, a heavy lifting, engineered transport and crane rental, has participated at the request of Broadway Subway Project Corporation, an Acciona-Ghella joint venture, in the assembly of the tunnel boring machines (TBM) used for the construction of the subway section.

For this particular job, Sarens used one of its Liebherr LR 1400-2 cranes in SDB configuration. To facilitate the transfer of the TBM parts into the tunnel portal, the team used a 70 m main boom with a 135-ton counterweight and a 170-ton Superlift counterweight. In addition, support cranes such as the LTM 1095 or the Terex Explorer 5800 were used.

As the operation is within the City of Vancouver, the crane operators had to deal with a heavily congested site and tight lifting schedules. In addition, due to the limited visibility available for the installation maneuver of the various parts of the TBM, the technical team had to work under close coordination established by radio.

Broadway Subway Project is a project driven by the province of British Columbia, which will be operated by TransLink once it is commissioned in 2026. It will cover a total distance of 5.7 km between VCC-Clark and Arbutus.

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This new subway line is expected to generate more than 130,000 direct and indirect jobs. In addition, thanks to the project’s adherence to the Community Benefits Agreement, a significant portion of these positions will employ women, indigenous people and traditionally underrepresented sectors, which will benefit the community economically and create a highly skilled technical workforce base.

Sarens has experience in the Canadian construction industry and in similar projects. Among others, the company recently worked on the Finch West Station project in Toronto, installing 30 pre-cast ceiling panels of 3.25 tons each below ground level. Sarens also contributed to the renovation of Union Station, where its engineering crew worked on the hoisting and subsequent installation of several iron beams, weighing approximately 9.4 tons, for the flying garden that connects the north and south towers of the station.

Featured image: (Sarens)

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