Canadian Consulting Engineer

Vancouver gets on with a new transit line

While Toronto city council squabbles over whether to build subways or light-rail transit, Vancouver is getting on with building another light rapid-transit line to extend its Skytrain network.

February 7, 2012   Canadian Consulting Engineer

While Toronto city council squabbles over whether to build subways or light-rail transit, Vancouver is getting on with building another light rapid-transit line to extend its Skytrain network.

Shovels hit the ground in January on preparatory work for the Evergreen Line, which will link Coquitlam to Vancouver, via Port Moody and Burnaby. The line will connect with Greater Vancouver’s existing Skytrain and other transportation networks at Lougheed Town Centre station in Burnaby.

The 11 kilometre, $1.4-billion Evergreen project includes elevated and at-grade guideways, a two kilometre tunnel and six stations. It also includes power substations, and a vehicle storage and maintenance facility.

While work preparation work has started on new underground power lines for the TBM, the selection of a design-build consortium for the project isn’t due to be made until this summer.

The three teams who were shortlisted in November to submit proposals to design build and finance the project are EL Partners, Kiewit/Flatiron Evergreen Line, and SNC-Lavalin. They include a host of the big Canadian consulting engineering firms. The EL Partners team includes Ausenco Engineering, GENIVAR, Exp and McElhanney Engineering. The Kiewit/Flatiron team includes Peter Kiewit Infrastructure, Parsons Canada, Hatch Mott MacDonald and Stantec Consulting. The SNC-Lavalin team includes International Bridge Technologies, Jacobs Associates and MMM Group.

The preliminary plans which were given an environmental certificate of approval from B.C.’s Environmental Assessment Office in February 2011 call for a line with a tunnel section between Burquitlam Station in Coquitlam and Barnet Highway west of Port Moody. The elevated guideway portions include sections from Lougheed Town Centre along North Road along the west side of Pinetree Way in Coquitlam. The rest would be at grade, some of it alongside existing railway tracks.

Scheduled to open in 2016, the project is funded by the federal and provincial governments, and Translink [corrected]. To build the line a huge amount of preparation work has to be done. It includes widening roads, relocating hydro and natural gas lines, realigning railway tracks and removing vacant buildings. Contracts for this work are being awarded over the next few months.

For more information, click here. Or to see a video about the line,  click here.


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