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B.C. government picks construction group to build Vancouver’s Broadway subway

Crews work on TransLink's Evergreen line in 2013.
Crews work on TransLink's Evergreen line in 2013. Evergreen Line, Province of BC

The province has selected the group of companies that will design, build and partially finance Vancouver’s Broadway subway line.

The Ministry of Transportation said Friday that the project will be handled by a group of companies led by Acciona Infrastructure Canada and Ghella Canada, which beat out two other bids, including one led by SNC Lavalin.

Read more: Locations for 6 Broadway Subway stations unveiled by provincial government

Acciona is a Spanish conglomerate, while Ghella is a multinational construction company based in Italy.

The $2.83-billion project will see the SkyTrain Millennium Line extended 5.7 kilometres and six stops, from the existing VCC-Clark station to Arbutus Street.

The Transportation Investment Corporation, the Crown corporation that has managed major projects like the Port Mann Bridge, will oversee the construction consortium.

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Province unveils six Broadway Subway station locations
Province unveils six Broadway Subway station locations

The project is being delivered through a design-build-finance model, meaning the Acciona-Ghella team will front some of the cash.

The Broadway line will be built under the NDP’s community benefits agreement, which requires workers to belong to specific unions and provides apprenticeships and more roles for women and Indigenous people.

Critics have said the agreement is unfair to workers who don’t join those unions, and that it adds significantly to project costs.

Read more: First Nations, UBC, Vancouver launch joint pitch to fund Broadway subway completion

The province had set a construction start goal for the fall of 2020, with a completion date of 2025. That timeline is no longer clear under the coronavirus pandemic.

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Proponents hope to eventually extend the subway all the way to the University of British Columbia, far on the city’s west side. That extension is expected to cost $3 billion to $4 billion more, with no secured funding as of yet

Acciona-Ghella joint venture

  • Proponent: Acciona Infrastructure Canada Inc./Ghella Canada Ltd.
  • Design-build contractor: Acciona Infrastructure Canada Inc./Ghella Canada Ltd.
  • Design contractor: IBI Group Professional Services (Canada) Inc./Dialog BC Architecture Engineering Interior Design Planning Inc./Mott MacDonald Canada Ltd./Ingenieria Especializada Obra Civil e Industrial, S.A.
  • Systems integration contractor: Acciona Infrastructure Canada Inc./Ghella Canada Ltd./Parsons Inc.
  • Tunnel contractor: Acciona Infrastructure Canada Inc./Ghella Canada Ltd.