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First tunnel boring machine breaks through at future Oak-VGH Station in Vancouver

The first of two tunnel-boring machines has broken through at the future Oak-VGH Station, achieving another milestone for the Broadway Subway Project in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada.

The machine, named Phyllis, has reached the fourth of six underground stations, excavating more than two kilometers of tunnel and installing approximately 1,330 concrete tunnel liner rings since departing from Great Northern Way-Emily Carr Station in fall 2022. The 150-metre-long machine passed under the Canada Line at a depth of 22 meters shortly after departing Broadway-City Hall Station. From there, the newly completed tunnel rises to 15 meters below the surface at Laurel Street. Phyllis will continue toward the future South Granville Station after undergoing scheduled maintenance. The project’s other tunnel-boring machine, named Elsie, will arrive at Oak-VGH Station this fall.

The Broadway Subway Project is a 5.7-kilometer (3.54 miles) extension of the Millennium Line from VCC-Clark Station to West Broadway and Arbutus Street, providing people with fast, convenient SkyTrain service along the Broadway corridor. The corridor is home to B.C.’s second-largest jobs center, world-class health-care services, an emerging innovation and research hub, and growing residential neighborhoods.

The project means faster travel, better access to businesses and services, and fewer cars on the road, which will relieve congestion on this heavily used corridor. Once in service, the trip between VCC-Clark and Arbutus stations will take 11 minutes, saving the average public transit commuter almost 30 minutes a day.

The future Oak-VGH Station, located on the southwestern corner of Broadway and Laurel Street, will offer better access to Vancouver General Hospital and the rest of the medical district. This construction site is one of a number featuring a pedestrian bridge above the excavated station, maintaining access to businesses and services and keeping people moving around construction activities. Work to construct the concrete walls, columns and floors is underway in various stages at all six future underground stations.

Workers are also building the concrete deck for the 700-meter-long elevated guideway section that connects the Broadway Subway Project to the existing Millennium Line.

The project supports new transit-oriented developments, which will create efficient, connected communities where people can easily access public transit and have their day-to-day needs conveniently met close to home.

It’s estimated the Broadway Subway Project is creating more than 13,000 direct and indirect jobs during the construction phase, supporting economic development within the region and beyond.

Photo courtesy of the Broadway Subway Project, British Columbia.

Learn More: 

Video of Phyllis arriving at Oak-VGH Station can be found here:

Broadway Subway Project:

Photos of the tunnel-boring machines and general construction images can be found here:

Job opportunities for the Broadway Subway Project:

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