First boring machine for Broadway Subway reaches end of tunnel at Arbutus Station

The first of two tunnel boring machines building the Broadway Subway has made its final breakthrough in its journey at Cypress Streetreaching the pit of Arbutus Station. Through the Broadway Subway Project Office, the provincial government quietly announced that the tunnel boring machine named Phyllis arrived at the Arbutus Station pit on Wednesday, March 20, 2024. This represents the completion of the tunnel boring process for SkyTrain Millennium Line’s Broadway Extension’s westbound tunnel. 

Phyllis began boring her last segment between stations on February 2, 2024, when she resumed her dig from the Granville Street wall of South Granville Station. It took her 50 days to travel the four city block segment from Granville Street to Cypress Street. 

Elsiethe other tunnel boring machine, responsible for building the eastbound tunnel, is also now closing in to break through the wall at Cypress Street. Elsie resumed her dig from South Granville Street on March 5, 2024 — 17 days ago, as of today. If she is able to dig at a similar pace as Phyllis, she could reach Cypress Street by the end of April 2024. When Elsie makes her final breakthrough later this spring, this will represent the conclusion of the Broadway Subway’s tunnel boring process by Ghella, which partnered with Acciona Infrastructure Canada to build the project. From Cypress Street, both tunnel boring machines will be disassembled and extracted.

Upon opening, Broadway-City Hall Station will become one of the region’s busiest SkyTrain stations, as it will be transformed into a seamless interchange hub between the Millennium Line and Canada Line. The $2.8 billion, 5.7-km-long extension of the Millennium Line will add six subway stations to the SkyTrain network. A length of five km is underground, but there is also a 700-metrelong elevated segment between the existing VCC-Clark Station and the tunnel portal just before Great Northern Way-Emily Carr Station.