Guest post: Lizette Parsons Bell, Lead, Stakeholder Engagement and Communications, Trans Mountain Expansion Project

This is an exciting time for Trans Mountain as we transition from planning to execution of the Expansion Project. We’ve developed a disciplined approach to ensure we meet all regulatory requirements to start construction, including a thorough project and environmental review.

We value and take great pride in the relationships we’ve built with communities as we’ve developed the Project and through our almost 65 years of operations. Extensive dialogue has taken place with landowners, neighbours, Aboriginal Peoples, communities and other stakeholders and will continue throughout the construction and post-construction phases.

The Westridge Marine Terminal upgrade and expansion project is a very important part of our construction program. The plans include a new dock complex with three berths, a utility dock to moor tugs, boom boats and emergency response vessels, additional delivery pipelines, an extension of the land along the shoreline to accommodate new equipment, and new in-water fish habitat and riparian planting areas.

Typical of waterfront construction, most activities will occur from the water using floating equipment such as vessel-mounted cranes, barges, tugs and work boats. The construction work area for Westridge will be defined by a floating construction safety boom, which will be marked with appropriate navigation lighting and controls. The work area will consist of the entire expanded dock area, as well as a temporary working area needed for the terminal’s construction.

Tugs, observation vessels and storage barges will be visible. Barges will host cranes, pile driving equipment as well as material storage, offices and other worker amenities.

Large commercial vessels navigating the area will continue to follow the well-established vessel movement practices under pilotage. Recreational, tourism, Aboriginal and other waterways users are encouraged to take extra caution when nearing the area and to familiarize themselves with safety protocols while on the water.

We have developed management plans to minimize impacts to neighbours and the environment, including Traffic Management Plans, Construction Environmental Management Plans and plans to manage noise, lighting and emissions.

Other construction activities will be kicking off in Burnaby this fall at Burnaby Terminal. These activities will include site preparation such as tree removals, excavation and relocation of existing infrastructure. New access roads, perimeter fencing and construction offices will be installed.

We will be transporting workers to the sites by water taxi and bus, however intermittent, temporary traffic delays may occur in order to move equipment in and out of the worksites.

Project information is being shared through various channels including our refreshed website, social media, mailings and information sessions. Our goal is to create clear and open communication channels with the communities that will be impacted by construction activities to provide timely information and address local interests, issues and concerns.