Broadway Subway completion delayed to 2026, B.C. government says

Workers are pictured at the site of the future Great Northern Way-Emily Carr Station, where two tunnel boring machines are being used to carve out a new subway line. The project's completion has been pushed back to 2026, according to the city. (Province of British Columbia - image credit)
Workers are pictured at the site of the future Great Northern Way-Emily Carr Station, where two tunnel boring machines are being used to carve out a new subway line. The project's completion has been pushed back to 2026, according to the city. (Province of British Columbia - image credit)

The B.C. government says the first phase of the Broadway Subway project in Vancouver has been delayed to early 2026 due to a strike in June.

"A five-week strike in June 2022 affected the concrete supply in the Lower Mainland, which affected the start of tunnel boring," the Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure said in a news release Thursday.

"The overall schedule for project completion has been moved from late 2025 into early 2026," reads the statement.

The 5.7-kilometre extension of the Millennium SkyTrain line will eventually connect the False Creek flats with the Mount Pleasant, Fairview/South Granville and Kitsilano neighbourhoods.

Province of British Columbia
Province of British Columbia

The strike started May 20 and involved about 160 workers at six Lower Mainland concrete plants operated by Rempel Bros. Concrete.

Some of those employees, who are represented by both the Teamsters and the International Union of Operating Engineers, worked at six other concrete facilities operated by Ocean Concrete and Allied Ready Mix, and their colleagues at those plants also refused to work during the strike.

In total, around 300 employees walked off the job, effectively halting over 50 per cent of construction projects in Metro Vancouver and the Fraser Valley until an agreement was reached on June 24.

Set to connect VCC-Clark Station, near Clark Street and Great Northern Way, to the future Broadway and Arbutus Station, the Broadway Subway project has been described as a way to improve access to public transit and relieve congestion along the Broadway corridor.

The city has said the corridor is B.C.'s second-largest jobs centre, an emerging innovation and research hub, and home to fast-growing residential communities.

Once the new subway is in service, a trip from VCC-Clark to Arbutus Station will take 11 minutes, saving the average commuter almost 30 minutes a day, according to the city.

The city says there will be a more precise update on the project timeline in the spring of 2023, when excavation and tunnel boring are further advanced.