As part of the LRT project, the 9.86m diameter EPBM will construct a 2km tunnel west of Barnet Highway in Port Moody to south of Kemsley Avenue in Coquitlam. Contractor EGRT Construction, a consortium led by SNC-Lavalin, has the project’s design build and finance contract.

The TBM is being shipped from Ontario in pieces and will be assembled at the launch site in Port Moody, with tunnel excavation expected to start in February. The entire TBM is 85m long and the mixed face cutterhead alone weights 130t.

Estimates call for an average progress of 8m per day through the alignment’s geology comprising tills, glacial outwash, glaciomarine and ice contact deposits, as well as boulders with maximum UCS of 350 MPa. The machine is designed to operate under 6 bar pressure and run on a 6 per cent gradient tunnel, Cat said. Tunnelling is expected to take one year.

"The many benefits of the Evergreen Line for British Columbians include jobs and new transportation choices for families and communities," said Transportation and Infrastructure Minister Todd Stone. "A comprehensive community relations program is in place, and the public will continue to be informed of traffic changes and construction activities until completion of the line in the summer of 2016."

Funding for the Evergreen Line is a partnership between the Government of Canada, the Government of British Columbia and TransLink.

The estimated project cost is CAD 1.43bn.