Did you see the TransLink staff out at Broadway Station this morning? They were out to let everybody know that the station is getting renovated starting this November! (The staff will also be there on Nov. 6, 12, 13, and 15, in case you want to catch their info session again.)
Before you ask, YES, Broadway Station will remain open during the upgrades!
And here’s a little more information about exactly what renovations you can expect to see at the station, and how the project came about.
The station upgrades include:
New 10th Avenue entrance, with new stairs, escalator, and elevator to improve accessibility
Currently, there’s only one entrance to the station, on Broadway. As part of the upgrade, we’ll create another entrance on 10th Avenue, complete with new stairs, escalator and elevator to the platform above. The roof will also be extended to cover the new entrance below.
You can see what the 10th Avenue end of the station currently looks like on the photo below – it’s an emergency exit and behind it is where our recycling is stored. This will be converted to a new station entrance as pictured on the right. Once renovation is done, you’ll be able to walk all the way between Broadway and 10th Ave through the station.
The new entrance gives us more access points to relieve congestion in the station. It will also create a more open station visible to both Broadway and 10th Ave passers-by.
New glass walls at the ground level for improved visibility and daylight
The outer walls of the station are currently metal mesh, as pictured. We’ll be replacing the ground-level walls with glass panels like the ones on the Millennium Line stations. The glass walls will also help increase wayfinding and security, since customers and those walking by can now easily see inside and outside the station.
New paving and tiling at the ground level
Existing paving on the ground floor will be replaced with new porcelain ceramic tiles.
Removal of the elevator at the north end of the station to reduce congestion
The elevator at the north end of the station is a choke point for pedestrian traffic. On the ground level, it’s right in the middle of the entrance. On the platform above, it blocks the traffic entering from Commercial Drive Station.
So we’re going to remove the current elevator and install a new one in the south end of the station to reduce the congestion. Don’t worry, elevator access will be maintained throughout the construction – we’ll install the new elevator before we remove the old one!
Provision of new retail space for future use
Provisions for future retail space will be built into the station. There are currently two spaces located in Broadway as pictured above, which will be demolished as part of the upgrade.
So when did you start planning this upgrade?
In 2007, a review of the state of the Expo Line stations indicated that Broadway was a prime candidate for an upgrade. Broadway Station is the busiest station on the SkyTrain system – every day, over 150,000 people go from bus to SkyTrain there – and few alterations have been made to the station since it first opened.
As well, we already had renovation plans for Broadway Station from 2005, which came from our exploration of building transit villages in the region. (Transit villages are attractive, compact, mixed-use community, centered around a transit station, allowing residents, workers, and shoppers to drive less and take transit, walk and cycle more.)
As part of that 2005 transit village study, comprehensive public consultation had been done regarding how the station should be renovated. So, we started planning out the renovation in greater detail in 2007, and now we’re going ahead with the upgrades in November 2008.
How much will this all cost?
This whole project will cost $13.2 million, funded by TransLink and the Province of British Columbia. Read more about it in TransLink’s press release on the station upgrade.
What’s the timeline for the upgrades?
In November 2008, we’ll start construction on the south side, including the new south entrance off 10th Avenue. In spring of 2009, we’ll open the new south side and then start construction on the north side (including the removal of the elevator). The whole process is expected to take about a year, with the expected completion date of December 2009.
As construction goes on, we’ll provide updates at our Broadway Station Upgrade page on the TransLink website. The Buzzer blog will also get the word out about any crucial notifications.
Why aren’t you upgrading the platform level too?
Upgrading the ground level and adding a new escalator, elevator and stairs at the south end are just Phase I of the planned Broadway Station upgrades. In Phase II, we’re planning on updating the platform (replacing the mesh screen with glass and upgrading the finishes), and creating major capacity improvements following planning and design. We’re still in the process of planning Phase II.
What about the spaces around the station?
After our construction is complete in December 2009, the City of Vancouver will improve the intersections and sidewalks near the station to help the flow pedestrian traffic. Improvements include widening the sidewalks on the south side of Broadway east and west of Commercial Drive, replacing centre medians on Broadway with painted centre lines, and widening the crosswalks. Decorative asphalt called DuraTherm will further enhance the north-south crossing to create a safe, attractive and accessible pedestrian crosswalk.