Construction on the new $1.4 billion SkyTrain Evergreen Line has been a smooth sailing process since the completion of the tunnel boring project last November.
According to the Evergreen Line Project Office, work is well underway on the tunnel’s interior, with floor and centre walls now complete and railing and systems installation set to continue into the summer months. Trains will begin to roll in the tunnel late summer for the first phase of testing.
Overall, the entire project has reached 85% completion. Station structures are in the finishing stages and station plaza areas are scheduled for completion this fall.
All track work is finished on the elevated and at-grade guideways, and testing and commissioning are now underway from Lougheed Station to Burquitlam Station and Port Moody to the Coquitlam-Pinetree area. To date, train testing along the completed sections has involved using the Mark I cars, and this will soon move on to using the Mark II and new Mark II trains.
As the extension is a considerable distance away from the Edmonds Operations and Maintenance Centre, a small satellite maintenance facility has been constructed in Port Moody to store trains and conduct any minor maintenance work.
The Evergreen Line is on target to open in early-2017. Challenging conditions with the tunnel boring project forced project planners to delay the original opening date twice, initially summer 2016 then fall 2016.
The Evergreen Line is a $1.4 billion project funded by the provincial and federal governments and TransLink. Any construction overruns incurred by the project are within the responsibility of the private contractor, SNC-Lavalin. The tunnel boring project was subcontracted to SELI, the Italian tunnel building company that also built the Canada Line’s bored tunnels.
The provincial government is overseeing the design and construction process and a handover to TransLink for operational control is still anticipated for next year.
Approximately 50,000 riders are expected to ride the Evergreen Line, an extension of the existing Millennium Line, when it opens. Trains will travel from VCC-Clark Station in Vancouver to Lafarge Lake-Douglas Station in Coquitlam in less than 35 minutes.
Within the newly constructed 11-kilometre span, transit users will be able to travel from the existing Lougheed Town Centre Station to the Lafarge Lake-Douglas Station in just 15 minutes. Excluding Lougheed Town Centre’s new third platform, a total of six new stations will be added to the SkyTrain network.