Evergreen Line opening delayed to early 2017

SkyTrain extension to Coquitlam was to carrying passengers in fall of 2016, tunnel machine breaks out (WITH VIDEO)

Tunnel boring machine 'Alice' broke through into daylight Friday morning

The opening of the Evergreen Line SkyTrain extension to Coquitlam has been delayed again, this time to early 2017.

That will make it three years overdue from an original target operating date of late 2014, set by then-Transportation Minister Kevin Falcon in 2008.

The $1.4-billion project was the subject of years of negotiation between the province and Metro Vancouver mayors, who finally agreed in 2011 to raise the Metro Vancouver gas tax two cents a litre to finance TransLink’s $400-million share of the cost.

The project has since grappled with construction complications from the tunnelling, including sinkholes that opened up above the underground segment in Port Moody.

Earlier this year the province pushed back a revised opening date of summer 2016 to the fall of 2016.

And it now says the transportation ministry expects to begin train testing next fall with “with the line operational in early 2017.”

The delay was disclosed Friday as the two-kilometre tunnel was completed and tunnel boring machine ‘Alice’ broke through into daylight.

“Having broken through today is an important milestone,” project manager Amanda Farrell said of the completion of the most complex part of the 11-kilometre rapid transit line.

Construction is being managed by the province and TransLink will operate it once complete.

Transportation Minister Todd Stone said the project is now more than 75 per cent finished.

“Once Evergreen is complete, B.C. will have the longest, fully automated rapid transit network in the world,” he said.

The Evergreen Line will run from Lougheed Town Centre in Burnaby and have stations in Coquitlam and Port Moody, the last being next to Lafarge Lake in Coquitlam. It will connect to express buses running to Pitt Meadows and Maple Ridge.

NDP critic George Heyman said the latest delay and the ongoing tussle over TransLink funding is frustrating for transit riders.

“The Liberals continue to argue with the mayors around funding for the much-needed expansion of existing services on buses, as well as rapid transit investments on Broadway and South of the Fraser,” Heyman said. “When will we have the rapid transit we need in Metro Vancouver?”

VIDEO: TUNNEL MACHINE BREAKS OUT

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

UPDATE: Missing man found

‘Family and police are concerned for his wellbeing at this time’

Police investigating shooting in North Delta

Police say occupants of two vehicles exchanged gunfire near 120th Street and 82nd Avenue

TransLink CEO asks riders not to enforce mask rules after Surrey bus punch-up

A fight broke out on a bus at 96 Avenue and Scott Road involving a man who refused to wear a mask

Defence in Fraser Valley chicken abuse cases asks BC Supreme Court to drop the charges

Sofina Foods and Chilliwack company say undercover video by ‘vigilante group’ violates Charter rights

Surrey’s Johnston Heights reporting COVID-19 exposure

Fraser Health has created a new webpage listing COVID-19 cases in schools

Weekend sees 267 cases, 3 deaths in B.C.; Dr. Henry says events leading to COVID spread

There are currently 1,302 active cases in B.C., while 3,372 people are under public health monitoring

Lightning strike: Tampa Bay blanks Dallas 2-0 to win Stanley Cup

Hedman wins Conn Smythe Trophy as playoff MVP

Liberals seek to fast track new COVID-19 aid bill after CERB expires

Government secured NDP support for legislation by hiking amount of benefits by $100 to $500 per week

B.C. VOTES 2020: Echoes of HST in B.C. debate over sales tax

Cannabis, tobacco, luxury cars still taxed in B.C. Liberal plan

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

She warned her son about toxic drugs, then he was dead

Donna Bridgman’s son died at the age of 38 in Vancouver

B.C. food and beverage producers set record sales in 2019

Farmed salmon again leads international exports

Most Read