New subway's second tunnel-boring machine reaches Broadway-City Hall Station

May 26 2023, 11:16 pm

The tunnel-boring machine named Phyllis has made her breakthrough at the pit of the future Millennium Line subway extension at Broadway City-Hall Station.

In a bulletin, the provincial government says the second tunnel-boring machine for SkyTrain Millennium Line’s Broadway Extension has broken through the east wall at Alberta Street. Phyllis is responsible for building the project’s westbound tunnel.

Elsie, the first tunnel-boring machine, achieved the same milestone on April 14, 2023, and is now well on her way towards the mid-way point of the five-km-long underground segment, with her next breakthrough being the pit of Oak-VGH Station at Laurel Street. Elsie is building the eastbound tunnel.

Both tunnel-boring machines had staggered launches from the pit of Great Northern Way-Emily Carr Station in Fall 2022, and they made their first breakthrough at Mount Pleasant Station about two months apart earlier this year.

Tunnel boring is expected to reach full completion in late 2023 when the machines reach Cypress Street — the location of a crossover track switch on the block east of Arbutus Station.

Similarly, Broadway-City Hall Station’s pit is also two blocks long, with the west block between Cambie and Yukon streets being the location of the Millennium Line platforms and concourse, and the east block between Yukon and Alberta streets being a crossover track switch.

There will be underground passageways to allow transferring passengers to directly connect between the Millennium Line’s underground concourse and the Canada Line’s platforms.

Out of the six subway stations being built for the project, the Millennium Line platforms at Broadway-City Hall Station will be the deepest station at over 20 metres underground. This depth allows the Millennium Line to dive under the Canada Line tunnel beneath Cambie Street.

The entire project is 5.7 km long, including a short 700-metre elevated segment between the existing VCC-Clark Station and the tunnel portal east of the future Great Northern Way-Emily Carr Station. Crews have now progressed to installing the deck on top of the completed girders that connect the 21 columns of the elevated segment.

The $2.8 billion project is slated to open for service in early 2026.

Kenneth ChanKenneth Chan

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