British Columbia

Evergreen Line construction hit by delays

B.C.'s Transportation Ministry says the Evergreen line will be completed by the fall of 2016, even though one of the machines digging the underground tunnels has been idle since March.

B.C.'s Transportation Ministry insists the Evergreen line will be finished by fall 2016

The Evergreen line will link Burnaby, Port Moody and Coquitlam and will be fully integrated into the existing system. (CBC)

B.C.'s Transportation Ministry says the Evergreen line will be completed by the fall of 2016, even though one of the machines digging the underground tunnels has been idle since March.

For the last six months, the boring machine has been stuck in the same location under Clarke Road and Seaview Drive, undergoing maintenance — because crews couldn't stop water and sand getting into the machine's cutter head.

In a statement, the ministry said the maintenance has now been completed, work wIll be restarting soon and EGRT, the project contractors, will be held responsible for the $1.4 billion project.

"These challenges have slowed down the project, which is scheduled to be completed sometime in the fall 2016," said the statement.

"Despite the delay, the contract language is clear: EGRT is on the hook to address any challenges that may arise and will cover all the costs connected to this work. Government will continue to hold EGRT to their agreement."

The Evergreen line will link Burnaby, Port Moody and Coquitlam and will be fully integrated into the existing system, connecting directly into the Millennium Line at Lougheed Town Centre Station.

The tunnel itself will be two kilometres long and run east of the Barnet Highway in Port Moody to south of Kemsley Ave. in Coquitlam. 

The ministry says the Evergreen Line project is 70 per cent complete, however, the boring machine still needs to tunnel through about half the planned underground route.

Construction on the new line has resulted in a few mishaps over the past year. More recently, a fourth sinkhole along the line caused a major road to be closed to traffic.

In March 2014, one of the large concrete tracks shifted, causing a major traffic shutdown.

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