This spring, construction continues along the pipeline route and at facilities throughout Alberta and BC. Many steps are involved in building a pipeline and it isn’t unusual to see the same types of work at different phases of completion across the Project corridor. This year, we’ll see peak construction for the Project with thousands of people working at hundreds of worksites.

Spring Breakup

Although the warmer spring weather brings an increase in construction in many areas, in the Yellowhead region of Alberta and in BC’s North Thompson, construction slows down or halts entirely for spring breakup. During breakup, melting snow and frost that causes the ground to become soft and muddy. Prior to breakup, construction crews minimize the amount of equipment on the right-of-way (ROW). During breakup, the crews shorten the length of any open ditches to reduce the amount of water that will need to be pumped out, which allows the ROW to dry faster, and additional matting is also used. Additional watercourse protection measures are also used to prevent silt or sediment from travelling into bodies of water due to thaw and spring runoff.

Pipeline Construction Continues

In the BC Interior, work will continue in Lac du Bois, Kenna Cartwright Park and at Black Pines as well as in the Kamloops Urban Area. This work includes clearing, grading, stripping and blasting, as well as steep slope work followed by pipe installation. Work will also begin on a new 1.5-km transmission line north of Kamloops that will provide power to Trans Mountain’s Black Pines Pump Station, which is currently under construction as part of the Expansion Project.

Construction will restart in the Coquihalla-Hope region after a pause in activity through the winter season due to weather conditions, causing avalanche risk and access issues. A slower construction season in the winter was also in place in this area to account for snail and spotted owl hibernation windows, which close at the end of March. Work in the Upper Fraser Valley this spring will focus on developing access points, clearing, grading and hauling, which will prepare the area for future pipeline construction. Near Hope, steep, wet terrain throughout the springtime will require heli-logging activities to continue while preparation activities begin on access roads for the summer construction season.

Pipeline construction in Coquitlam, BC, which began earlier this year, will continue west of the Port Mann Bridge in the United Boulevard area, including a trenchless crossing of Burbridge street. Preparatory activities, including surveying and clearing will be ongoing throughout the Lower Mainland.

Fraser River Crossing

The Fraser River Horizontal Directional Drill in the vicinity of the Port Mann bridge in the Lower Mainland is also underway this spring. Work for this crossing will take place in two temporary work spaces, with drilling taking place at the entry site on the south (Surrey) side of the river and pipe assembly taking place at the exit site on the north (Coquitlam) side.

Tunnel Construction

Construction of the Burnaby Mountain Tunnel is scheduled to begin this spring. The tunnel will connect Trans Mountain’s Burnaby Terminal and Westridge Marine Terminal, and will avoid the need to disrupt city streets, residents and the areas between the two terminals. At its deepest point, the tunnel will be buried 130 metres below the surface and requires no cleared right-of-way or surface disruption along its route. It will be built from temporary worksites within the fencelines of Trans Mountain’s terminals using a tunnel boring machine designed and manufactured specifically for this project.

Burnaby Terminal

At Burnaby Terminal, four new tanks will be under construction in the coming months. Two are currently underway with foundations laid, while work on the other two will begin later this spring. Berm construction is already started for most of the remining 10 new tanks and will continue through the spring and summer.

Structural pipe support, civil works, road works, off-hauling of soil, hydrovac and relocation of existing lines in preparation for all 14 new tanks is all also underway.

Westridge Marine Terminal

At Westridge Marine Terminal, work continues on in-water and foreshore construction, including pile driving for marine dock structures. Onshore construction activity includes widening of the main access road, soil improvement works in the foreshore area and the relocation of existing marine terminal infrastructure to accommodate the Expansion Project.