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

Just Posted

Son of slain former Hells Angel is one of two men sentenced for crime spree

Pair’s 2017 series of Lower Mainland robberies stretched from Surrey to Mission

‘Person of interest’ identified after suspicious meat left in North Delta park

Piles of meat have been dumped near the 63rd Avenue trail entrance four times in the last 30 days

Fundraiser launched for South Surrey stabbing victim’s funeral

Paul Prestbakmo remembered for ‘amazing smile, great soul’

Surrey-raised Merkules raps his way around the world

Cole Stevenson opens up about his ‘Scars,’ a hit remix of ‘Old Town Road’ and how he’s pals with Shaq

Disney Plus to launch in Canada in November

Analysts say latest streaming service may escalate cord cutting

Okanagan bus driver assaulted for asking patron not to smoke

59-year-old in hospital with non-life threatening injuries

Mouse infestation hit Langley hospital’s kitchens

Droppings and urine were found by Fraser Health inspectors in the spring

B.C. sets rules for ride hailing, same minimum fee as taxis

Larger operating areas seen as threat by cab companies

Two hiking families team up to extinguish fire in B.C. backcountry

Children and their parents worked for three hours to ensure safety of the popular hiking region

B.C. mom mourns 14-year-old son whose fatal overdose was posted online

Chantell Griffiths misses the son she hadn’t seen much in recent years

Vancouver man arrested after pregnant woman’s SUV stolen, then crashed

Police are recommending charges against a 22-year-old Vancouver man

Oppenheimer Park residents told to leave, clear out tents by Aug. 21

Police say park has seen influx of residents, violence in recent months

Most Read

l -->