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Opening dates for new Pattullo Bridge, Broadway Subway delayed again

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Two major infrastructure projects in Metro Vancouver have fallen further behind schedule, the provincial government announced Friday.

In a news release touting "significant milestones" reached on both the Broadway Subway project in Vancouver and the Pattullo Bridge Replacement Project between Surrey and New Westminster, the Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure also shared new completion dates for each one.

The Broadway Subway is now expected to be operational in 2027, while the new Pattullo Bridge is expected to open in 2025.

Earlier this week, each project's website indicated anticipated completion one year earlier than is now expected.

For each project, this is also the second time the completion date has been pushed back.

The Pattullo Bridge project was originally scheduled to be finished in 2023, but was delayed to 2024 by issues related to the COVID-19 pandemic. The ministry cited supply chain issues, inflationary pressures and longer-than-expected work on the bridge tower as reasons for the latest delay. 

The Broadway Subway, meanwhile, began construction with an expected opening date of 2025, but a five-week concrete workers' strike in 2022 prompted the province to push that date back to 2026. Tunnelling and station excavation also took longer than expected, according to the ministry. 

"On projects of this size, delays have the potential to affect other construction activities," the ministry's statement reads.

"While mitigation efforts were made to recover both project schedules, it wasn't always possible."

Both projects recently hit major construction milestones, according to the province. For the Broadway Subway, that meant completing tunnel boring operations, described as "the most technically complex and challenging part" of the project.

For the Pattullo Bridge, the latest development is the completion of the main tower for the new bridge, which is now the tallest bridge tower in B.C.

"Despite facing significant global challenges, we've seen tremendous progress on both of these projects," said Rob Fleming, B.C.'s minister of transportation and infrastructure, in the statement.

"These projects will move people and goods more quickly and safely around the Lower Mainland."

When complete, the new, nearly $1.4-billion Pattullo Bridge will feature modern, wider lanes separated by a centre median, as well as dedicated walking and cycling lanes, which the province says will provide "a safer commute" for drivers, pedestrians and cyclists.

The Broadway Subway will extend the SkyTrain Millennium Line from its current terminus at VCC-Clark Station to Arbutus Street, reducing travel times along that stretch of the Broadway corridor to just 11 minutes. The project budget is roughly $2.8 billion. 

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