Sites are now being cleared for the highly-anticipated Broadway Subway Project, which is a 5.7-kilometre extension of the city's Millennium line.
The Broadway subway will continue to the intersection of West Broadway and Arbutus Street with six underground stations along the way.
In September 2020, TransLink revealed the final station names, and the first station was named after internationally acclaimed British Columbian Emily Carr.
Now, some building demolition is necessary to construct six new station entrances and create laydown areas that will be used as work staging and storage. This will help keep construction activity off Broadway and adjacent streets as much as possible, mitigating disruption and managing safety for drivers, pedestrians and cyclists, explains a release from the Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure.
"The Government of Canada is making historic investments in infrastructure projects that create jobs in the short term, create growth in the long term and tackle climate change," said the Honourable Catherine McKenna, federal Minister of Infrastructure and Communities. "The Broadway Subway Project will introduce a new transportation option along one of Vancouver's busiest corridors, helping reduce traffic congestion and air pollution, while keeping pace with the city's growing ridership. Canada's infrastructure plan invests in thousands of projects, creates jobs across the country and builds cleaner, more inclusive communities."
Rob Fleming, B.C.'s Minister of Transportation and Infrastructure, said, "When completed, the Broadway Subway will transform how people get around in Vancouver. It will mean faster travel to work and school, better access to local business and fewer cars on the road. I'm pleased to see site preparations get underway on this critical project - a key infrastructure investment as we work to restore the economy and invest in a low-carbon future through BC's Restart Plan."
Moving forward with the Broadway Subway Project
The first buildings slated for removal are on the 100 block of East Broadway and 2500 block of Main Street for the future Mount Pleasant Station. This work will have minimal impact on traffic and transit service. However, street parking will be limited during work. All demolition work is anticipated to be completed by the end of April, in preparation for the start of station construction.
The project's design-build contractor, Broadway Subway Project Corporation, began working on-site in fall 2020, with a focus on surveying and removing hazardous materials from buildings. Other preliminary work underway includes relocating utilities and conducting geotechnical investigations. The contractor is also working to finalize designs for the new stations, which will be presented at a public open house in the spring.
Major works will start this spring. Upcoming construction activities will include the tunnel portal and elevated guideway near Great Northern Way, with tunnelling to begin in 2022. More detailed information on construction methods and timing will be provided in advance of these activities.
Michel Ladrak, president and general manager of the BC Rapid Transit Company, said previously that the new SkyTrain line will alleviate pressure on the existing 99B bus line.
He said the Broadway extension will be able to carry more than three times the number of passengers than the bus, which is already the busiest bus route in Canada and the United States with 57,000 boardings a day.
The Broadway Subway Project budget is $2.83 billion, funded and delivered by the Government of B.C., with contributions from the Government of Canada and the City of Vancouver.