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Pattullo Bridge and Broadway subway hit with significant construction setbacks, again

Broadway subway line to now open in fall 2027 while the Pattullo Bridge replacement will be complete by fall 2025; any excess costs have not been made public.
View of the main bridge tower for the Pattullo Bridge replacement project while under construction in 2023.

Two major infrastructure projects — the Broadway subway and Pattullo Bridge replacement — will be further delayed, according to a Ministry of Transportation statement Friday afternoon.

The ministry has not released information on any cost escalations as a result of the delays.

The subway line is now set to be complete for service by fall 2027, instead of March 2026, as last announced in September, 2023. What is to be an extension of the SkyTrain’s Millennium Line, from VCC-Clark to a new station at Arbutus Street had already been delayed from being completed in late 2025.

The first delay was partly blamed on a five-week strike by local concrete producers. The ministry evoked the strike again, as well as the pandemic, in its explanation for the further 18-month delay.

“Design and construction activities on the Broadway Subway Project, which also began during the pandemic in September 2020, have taken longer than originally expected, including work to relocate major utilities and install traffic decks, while keeping traffic moving along Broadway.

“Tunnelling, which included boring under the Canada Line, and station excavation also took longer. This was in part due to a five-week concrete strike in 2022 that delayed construction of the launch pad for the tunnel-boring machines. Despite making significant progress so far, the new line is expected to go into service in fall 2027.”

The last budget estimate for the line is $2.9 billion.

Meanwhile, the Pattullo Bridge replacement is now set to open in fall 2025 as opposed to this year.

“The Pattullo Bridge Replacement Project started at the beginning of the pandemic in February 2020. Since then, it has faced significant challenges, including inflationary pressures and global supply issues related to the delivery of specialized components from around the world. In addition, the bridge tower construction took longer than expected. As a result, the new bridge is expected to open in fall 2025,” the ministry stated.

The last budget estimate for the bridge is $1.4 billion.

"Despite facing significant global challenges, we've seen tremendous progress on both of these projects," said Rob Fleming, Minister of Transportation and Infrastructure. "These projects will move people and goods more quickly and safely around the Lower Mainland."

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