Another major milestone has been reached in the process of providing SkyTrain’s Canada Line with an additional station in Richmond.
The City of Richmond confirmed today it has transferred $27.5 million in funds to TransLink to cover the full construction cost of Capstan Station — located near the northeast corner of the intersection of No. 3 Road and Capstan Way, roughly halfway between Bridgeport Station and Aberdeen Station.
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This is in addition to the $3.5 million transferred to the public transit authority in November 2017 for design and planning work. Then in 2018, TransLink awarded the contract for design work to the Vancouver office of architectural firm Perkins + Will, which designed the existing three Canada Line stations on No. 3 Road and the Evergreen Extension’s Burquitlam Station and Lincoln Station.
According to a city staff report, the station construction cost is based on the “base case station design similar to Aberdeen Station and Lansdowne Station.” Based on architectural drawings, the station platforms will be built to a 40-metre standard, with the capability for a future 10-metre extension to the Canada Line’s ultimate 50-metre platform standard.
As well, the city will spend an additional $500,000 towards making public realm improvements that integrate the station with its surroundings.
With all design, planning, and construction costs accounted for, the total cost of Capstan Station is $31.5 million, which is largely funded by the new, dense residential developments emerging in the Capstan Village area.
“This is an excellent example of how the City of Richmond works with developers and partners such as TransLink to build strong communities,” said Richmond Mayor Malcolm Brodie in a statement.
“Parks, trails, recreation facilities, and even green spaces are often created by developers who are building higher density communities in urban areas. Now, through a shared vision and this precedent-setting agreement, we have an important transit location as well.”
The city reached an agreement with TransLink in 2012 to build the station, and it began collecting a development levy from each new condominium unit built in the surrounding area. Extra density was provided to developers — such as Concord Pacific, Polygon, Pinnacle International, and Yuangheng — in exchange for their commitments.
Over 6,000 homes are in the pipeline for the area in and around Capstan Village, with the developments expected to house between 13,000 and 16,000 people upon full buildout, along with new jobs from mixed uses such as new retail, restaurants, and office.
As of May 2019, the city had raised about $32 million from both the development levy and the accrued revenue from interest from strategically investing the raised funds since 2012.
“The Canada Line has been a tremendous success story for this region,” said TransLink CEO Kevin Desmond.
“Strong ridership growth has spurred on an astonishing amount of property development, so partnering with the City of Richmond and leveraging developer dollars to help fund a new station is an important model for transit infrastructure enhancements.”
Construction is expected to begin in about a year for a completion and opening of the station in the middle of 2022. Under the agreement with the city, TransLink is required to complete the station within 30 months upon the release of the construction funding.
The city originally had a 15-year timeline for fundraising and constructing the station, with completion by 2027.
Capstan Station is one of four potential future additional stations for the Canada Line, made possible by flat and straight sections of track. This includes future station locations at 33rd Avenue and 57th Avenue in Vancouver, and Capstan Way in Richmond, as well as a future station just before the dual-to-single track transition at Vancouver International Airport.
However, the Vancouver stations are estimated to be far more complicated and costly to build as they are located underground.
A 2014 preliminary cost estimate by TransLink pegged the construction cost of 57th Avenue Station at $90 million. Due to the engineering complexities of building on an active underground tunnel, the construction timeline may take at least 10 years to ensure disruptions to passengers are kept at a relative minimum.
As for Sea Island’s additional station, the project is dependent on a future YVR terminal building expansion.