Coquitlam set to wait an extra season for SkyTrain line
By Alex Stanton, Staff Writer and Angela Espinoza, News Editor
As of February 13, the Evergreen Line has officially had its grand opening bumped back from its initial date of July 29, 2016 to the fall season of the same year by British Columbia’s Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure.
Media reports state a press release revealed the delay was due to the boring process of the two-kilometre-long tunnel running under Port Moody having fallen behind schedule.
In mid-January of this year, crews near the Barnet Highway and Cecile Drive in Port Moody, an area in which part of the tunnels’ length falls under, experienced problems with two sinkholes in the construction area, much to the chagrin of local residents. The tunnelling issues are attributed by the Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure to poorer than anticipated soil conditions.
“The Evergreen Line Project remains on budget,” the press release states. The Ministry has also publicly stated that any costs that come up due to the delay will be paid for by the contractor.
The Evergreen Line project is estimated to be more than halfway complete, with the tunnel boring process itself, which began in June 2014, reportedly being around 30 per cent complete.
The press release also mentions that the Burquitlam areas of the line on North Road and Clarke Road have recently had their elevated guideways completed.
The Evergreen Line is intended to run 11 kilometres from the long-established station at Lougheed Town Centre through Burquitlam and adjacent to the busy St. Johns Street in Port Moody and through Coquitlam before terminating at Lafarge Lake and the David Lam campus of Douglas College. Once finished, the Evergreen Line is expected to surpass the Montreal Metro and the Toronto Rapid Transit system as, length-wise, the largest rapid transit system Canada has to offer.
In an article released by the Tricity News on January 19, it was revealed that the opening of the Evergreen Line was meant to coincide with the city’s 125th “birthday” celebrations next year. But while events will be happening throughout Coquitlam, director of parks and recreation Raul Allueva told the paper that events would not be affected by the delay. “There was (sic) no specific plans that hinged on anything,” said Allueva.
In additional to the Evergreen Line, changes to Coquitlam’s “three major transit corridors” will also be occurring, with “improved travel lanes, medians, streetscapes, and pedestrian plazas” all being added in the in the near future. The project is reportedly part of a $21-million initiative by the city.