TransLink sends SkyTrain Burrard station upgrade back to drawing board due to cost

The temporary two-year closure of the SkyTrain Burrard station, originally scheduled for early 2022, will not continue.

In a bulletin today, TransLink says upgrades are no longer underway due to higher-than-expected construction cost estimates during a general contractor’s procurement process.

The transit authority says there have been “continued pressures in the construction industry caused by global supply chain issues and higher construction costs”.

With the plans cancelled, TransLink will now reframe the upgrade project and the station will remain open to passengers while a new plan is created. The revised design and budget have yet to be finalized.

In July 2021, TransLink revealed the Burrard Station overhaul design and announced the strategy for a temporary two-year station shutdown beginning in early 2022 as a cost reduction measure, which is in sync with the continued effects of the pandemic on the temporary reduction in ridership.

Artist’s rendering of the SkyTrain Burrard station expansion and renovation. (TransLink)

burrard skytrain station upgrade

Artist’s rendering of the SkyTrain Burrard station expansion and renovation. (TransLink)

Perhaps more importantly was reducing the costs of temporarily closing the station instead of keeping it open to passengers during construction.

The whole project, as previously planned, was estimated at $72 million. If the station were to remain open during construction, it was previously estimated that construction costs would increase by $35 million to $107 million.

In 2019, the Burrard station was TransLink’s fourth busiest SkyTrain station, with over 7.6 million annual boardings and an average of over 25,000 weekday boardings.

Previous reports from TransLink indicated that a capacity upgrade was needed to meet the eventual capacity of the Expo Line train system of 25,000 passengers per hour per direction (pphpd) – up from more than 15 000 (pphpd) currently – and the use of longer trains which provide greater peak peak traffic volumes through the station.

More soon…

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