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B.C. ministry sticking to prior cost estimates on Pattullo Bridge and Broadway subway

Two multi-billion dollar infrastructure projects have been further delayed but the Ministry of Transportation is sticking to its previous cost estimates, for now.
The boring machine Elsie leaves temporary tunnel rings behind it, which are then replaced (Nov. 2, 2022).

The B.C. Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure is sticking to its last cost estimates for the Pattullo Bridge and Broadway subway one month after it announced the two projects have been further delayed significantly.

According to the ministry, the bridge cost remains $1.38 billion and the subway price tag remains $2.83 billion.

“With these schedule delays, there are budget pressures. The projects are managing within the current budget and contingencies. An update will be provided as needed,” the ministry told Glacier Media.

The subway line is now set to be complete for service by fall 2027, instead of March 2026, as last announced in September, 2023. What is to be an extension of the SkyTrain’s Millennium Line, from VCC-Clark to a new station at Arbutus Street had already been delayed from being completed in late 2025.

Meanwhile, the new four-lane Pattullo Bridge replacement is now set to open in fall 2025 as opposed to this year.

While these projects are being managed by the provincial government, TransLink, the region’s transportation authority, will oversee their operation in the future.

TransLink’s board of directors held their quarterly meeting on June 20 where finance committee chair Allan Seckel advised the board orally that the committee had received updated reports on the projects; however, none of the reports were published in the meeting agenda.

Glacier Media was informed by TransLink spokesperson Tina Lovegreen that the finance committee is not open to the public.

Township of Langley Mayor Eric Woodward told Glacier Media via email he shares concerns “about how much governance at TransLink occurs within closed meetings.”

The B.C. government is otherwise plagued by infrastructure cost overruns as a result of construction delays.

Take three hospital projects, as examples. In 2022, the government announced the new Cowichan District Hospital soared in costs, from $887 million to $1.4 billion; in 2023, the new price tag for a second hospital in Surrey rose from about $1.8 billion to $2.9 billion; and this year the government announced a new Richmond Hospital will now cost $1.96 billion not $860 million.

Metro Vancouver Regional District is also dealing with a. $2.8-billion cost overrun for its North Shore wastewater treatment plant that has already realized significant tax increases, starting in 2025, for the region’s property owners.

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