Broadway Subway: Construction of tunnel to begin this summer as machine parts arrive in Vancouver
British Columbians get a sneak peek at the equipment that will be used to dig Vancouver’s new Broadway subway line.
The Department of Transportation said Friday the first shipment of parts for the highly specialized tunnel boring machines that will do the work arrived in the province.
The equipment was shipped from Germany at the end of February, passed through the Panama Canal and arrived at Fraser Surrey docks on April 15.
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A second and final delivery should arrive in the coming weeks.
The heavy equipment will then be assembled in two six meter wide and 150 meter long drills at a staging area in Vancouver before being put to work.
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The machines, which when completed will each weigh around one million kilograms, require a crew of eight to 12 people to operate and can dig around 18 meters of tunnel a day.
The work is expected to extract approximately 200,000 cubic meters of earth from the ground, which will be evacuated by a conveyor belt.
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The equipment was custom built for the job by German tunneling equipment manufacturer Herrenknecht.
The boring machines will be named later this spring.
The Department for Transport says the drills will both launch from the future Great Northern Way-Emily Carr station site near Main Street and dig new tunnels to Cypress Street near the subway terminus at the Arbutus Street.
Work is already underway on the six metro stations, which will be linked by the new tunnels.
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The boring works should last about a year.
The Broadway Subway will extend the SkyTrain Millennium Line an additional 5.7 kilometers west to Arbutus Street, at an expected cost of at least $2.8 billion.
TransLink and the City of Vancouver have both said they want to extend the line to the University of British Columbia’s Point Gray campus, but funding for a second stage of the line has not been secured.
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