Evergreen Line won't take passengers until 2017, mayor not shocked

The Evergreen Skytrain Line will not open to the public until 2017, B.C.'s Transportation Ministry announced today.

Tunnel boring is complete, but other work will take two more years to wrap up

Passengers will not ride the Evergreen SkyTrain line until 2017. (CBC)

The Evergreen SkyTrain Line will not open to the public until 2017, B.C.'s Transportation Ministry announced today. 

Previously the ministry promised the Evergreen line would be completed by the fall of 2016.

But on Friday the ministry confirmed that delays with the tunnelling have pushed the opening back until early 2017.

Not happy, but obviously we could see that writing on the wall.- Mike Clay, mayor of Port Moody

Officials said the tunnel boring is now done and the $1.4-billion project is 75 per cent complete.

Completion of tunnel interior work and systems installation will run through the summer of  2016, according to the ministry.

Train testing begins in fall of 2016, but the line is not expected to be fully operational until early the next year.

Earlier this year the ministry confirmed the tunnel boring machine was stuck in the same location under Clarke Road and Seaview Drive for several months because crews couldn't stop water and sand getting into the machine's cutter head.

After it was finally repaired, the boring machine emerged on Friday at the end of a single two-kilometre tunnel. The tunnel stretches from the Barnet Highway in Port Moody to south of Kemsley Avenue in Coquitlam. 

Watch video of the boring machine emerging. 

Machine emerges after getting stuck, sitting idle for several months 0:35

People who have long awaited the train's opening and have seen billboards promising it would be operating by 2016, said they were not shocked about the delay.

"No surprise that would have an impact on the schedule," Port Moody Mayor Mike Clay told CBC today. "Not happy, but obviously we could see that writing on the wall. The day it opens will be a great day for us."

In a September statement the ministry said the maintenance was completed and work restarting.

The 10.9-kilometre Evergreen line will eventually link Burnaby, Port Moody and Coquitlam to Vancouver and carry up to 70,000 passengers when complete, according to the Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure.