Summer 2016 operational date confirmed
By Dylan Hackett, News Editor
TransLink announced the final plans for the Evergreen Line last week, confirming a 2016 opening for the line set to connect Port Moody, Coquitlam, and Burnaby with the Millennium Line at Lougheed Town Centre station.
“Starting at Lafarge Lake-Douglas College in Coquitlam, the Evergreen Line starts south along an elevated track towards Lincoln Station, serving Coquitlam’s rapidly growing Coquitlam Station,” a video accompanying the release says. The construction of Lincoln station will be partially funded by Pensionfund Realty Ltd., a private real estate company who owns the nearby shopping mall, Coquitlam Centre. The majority of the new stations are being built near residential areas.
Unlike previous Evergreen Line announcements, last Saturday’s press release came out of the provincial government’s database with the headline “Promises made, promises kept.” The announcement is likely a political move, given that the new line will be built across several battleground ridings in the May 14 election, including Port Moody-Coquitlam.
The press release also touts a timeline for individual project construction for the Evergreen Line.
“Our government is delivering on our commitment to create 8,000 jobs, boost development opportunities, and transportation options for families and communities,” said Transportation and Infrastructure Minister Mary Polak. “We want the construction of the Evergreen Line project to be a positive experience for the communities. That’s why we are committed to responding quickly and providing valuable information to residents, commuters, and businesses as the project moves forward.”
The new line embarks underground for 2 km of the journey after the Burquitlam station stop, serving SFU and new Burquitlam condo developments at the bank of Burnaby Mountain. The tunnel, being constructed this spring, cuts past Coquitlam neighbourhood Glenayre and then stops at existing bus loop and West Coast Express stop, Port Moody Station. The Inlet Centre Station serves the Suter Brook condo community in Port Moody. Existing bus loop and West Coast Express station, Coqutilam Centre is next on the line and will serve as a major stop for Park & Ride commuters.
Fourteen months into construction, 80 per cent of groundwork is complete with a final estimated project cost figure of $1.43 billion. The bus loop at Lougheed Town Centre station will be relocated this summer to accommodate the station expansion and construction.