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Full speed ahead for work this fall on Vancouver's $2.8-billion Broadway subway

The $2.8-billion Broadway subway project is scheduled to be completed and in service by 2025
One of the new subway stations planned as part of the Broadway's Millennium Line extension, slated to open in 2025. Photo: Gov. of B.C.

Premier John Horgan announced to an eager crowd Thursday morning that work is confirmed to begin on providing subway service from East Vancouver to the Arbutus neighbourhood.

This fall will mark the beginning of an estimated five years of construction, which will see the Millennium Line extended by 5.7 kilometres from VCC-Clark Station to Arbutus Street.

With costs totalling $2.8-billion, a contract for $1.72-billion was awarded to a joint venture Acciona-Ghella, also known as the Broadway Subway Project Corp.

The rest, including $1.8-billion from the provincial government, $888 million in federal funds, and City of Vancouver land worth $100 million, will fund the project.

Horgan confirmed construction will continue amid the coronavirus pandemic.

“As we restore the economy through BC’s Restart Plan, major infrastructure projects like the Broadway Subway line will be key to our recovery,” the Premier said.

Once completed, the trip – stopping at five new underground stations – will take 11 minutes, saving the average commuter around 30 minutes per day.

The goal is to have the new line in service by 2025, Horgan said.

“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," Horgan said.

The project Is also expected to help alleviate traffic congestion along Broadway Street.

“The Broadway corridor is the second-largest employment centre in B.C. with more than 85,000 jobs, but growing traffic congestion and transit overcrowding are impacting economic growth and the quality of life for our residents,” said Vancouver Mayor Kennedy Stewart.

BC Rapid Transit Company president Michael Ladrak said the new subway will serve the same area as the 99B bus line.

The extension will be able to tow more than three times the number of passengers than the bus, Ladrak said, which already sees 57,000 boardings a day.

– With files from The Canadian Press