Trolley lines on Broadway dismantled in preparation for subway construction

Jul 14 2020, 11:53 am

Preparation for major construction activities on SkyTrain’s Millennium Line Broadway Extension continues.

Trolley bus lines along much of the West Broadway between Main Street and Arbutus Street have come down, and most of the remaining overhead power lines that hover above the street are expected to be dismantled over the coming weeks.

The trolleys that normally run on this route will not return until 2025, when new replacement overhead lines are reinstalled.

broadway trolley lines vancouver

Trolley lines on Broadway removed, as of July 12, 2020. (Kenneth Chan/Daily Hive)

broadway trolley lines vancouver

Trolley lines on Broadway removed, as of July 12, 2020. (Kenneth Chan/Daily Hive)

Three trolley routes that typically operate on a section of West Broadway have been fully rerouted to West 12th Avenue since last month:

  • 14 Hastings/Downtown/UBC
    • Moving Route 14 onto 4th Avenue and Macdonald Street. Route 14 will no longer serve Broadway between Macdonald Street and Granville Street or Granville Street between Broadway and 5th Avenue.
  • 16 29th Avenue Station/Arbutus
    • Moving Route 16 onto 12th Avenue between Arbutus and Granville. Route 16 will no longer serve Broadway between Arbutus Street and Granville Street or Arbutus Street between Broadway and 12th Avenue.
  • 17 Oak/Downtown
    • Moving Route 17 onto 12th Avenue between Cambie and Oak Street. Route 17 will no longer serve Broadway between Oak Street and Cambie Street or Oak Street between Broadway and 12th Avenue.

The No. 9 Alma/Boundary route will remain on Broadway, but instead of a trolley it is using a conventional diesel bus, with added early morning trips to help fill the gap of the detoured No. 14 between Alma and Fir streets.

The 99 B-Line will remain on Broadway, but when the subway opens it will see its route truncated to between UBC and the new Arbutus Station terminus. The new trolley lines built along West 12th Avenue will remain as permanent fixtures.

Millennium Line Broadway Extension trolley

Map of trolley bus reroutes during construction for the Millennium Line’s Broadway Extension. (TransLink)

These changes to the trolleys are being made as surface construction — localized cut-and-cover construction at certain city blocks where the subway stations are located — will be required. The rest of the tunnel between the station spans will be built using dual tunnel boring machines.

Two lanes of traffic will be maintained in each direction for buses and other vehicles at the station construction sites, except for the intersection of Broadway and Main Street due to the narrower street width.

mount pleasant station broadway subway

Diagram of Mount Pleasant Station. (Government of BC)

broadway-city hall station broadway subway

Diagram of the new Millennium Line platforms for Broadway-City Hall Station. (Government of BC)

Diagram of Arbutus Station. (Government of BC)

Along other areas of Broadway on the subway route, three lanes of traffic in each direction will be retained, including one lane each way to buses. Curbside street parking will be banned 24/7 during the construction period to allow for the efficient movement of buses and all traffic.

The provincial government is slated to announce its selected major contractor later this summer, and construction is scheduled to begin in early 2021. The $2.83 billion project will add six stations and about six km of track.

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