The tunnel-boring machines being used to build the Broadway Subway project are affectionately named Elise and Phyllis.
The first of the custom-designed machines was launched in October 2022 and, according to a new press release from the Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure, has made significant progress toward its first breakthrough at Mount Pleasant Station.
The second machine is now assembled and its launch is expected imminently, however, the overall schedule for the rapid transit line completion has been delayed.
A five-week strike affecting the concrete supply back in June is being citied as the cause of the delay. The strike affected the start of the tunnel boring and now the expected completion date has been pushed back from late 2025 to early 2026.
The ministry promises a more precise timeline update sometime in the spring of 2023 when the station is further underway.
"More than half of the columns for the guideway between VCC-Clark and Great Northern Way-Emily Carr Station are complete," notes the ministry. And construction of the stations and tracks will begin once the tunnelling is finished.
Once operational, the Broadway Subway will extend the Millennium Line from VCC-Clark Station to the future Broadway and Arbutus station, and the trip will take approximately 11 minutes.
The other good news is that the project remains within budget, according to the provincial government.