Pipeline construction could cause traffic snarls
If approved, the proposed Trans Mountain pipeline through Surrey, Coquitlam and Burnaby could create some traffic headaches while it's being built. (SUBMITTED)
The twinning of the Trans Mountain pipeline could create headaches and traffic snarls for Metro Vancouver residents if approved, the project’s head said Thursday in Burnaby.
At an open house for media, Greg Toth, the project’s senior director, said the final route hasn’t been approved, but revealed a study corridor through the Fraser Valley has been selected, as has an alternative path nearby.
The route would cross from Surrey into Coquitlam before running alongside the Trans Canada Highway to Gaglardi Way then to its terminus on the south shore of Burrard Inlet, where petroleum products would be loaded on ships for export.
Toth said it’s difficult to tell how much of a disruption any construction for the pipeline — ultimately controlled by Texas-based Kinder Morgan — would create.
“Pipeline construction involves heavy equipment ... you have gravel trucks, you have to move material out,” he said. “There is an element of disruption ... it might be a few days that we’ll be impacting one specific area as we travel along the pipeline route.”
Trans Mountain announced a proposal to twin its pipeline beginning in Alberta and ending in Burnaby last year.
The existing pipeline has been in place for 60 years and Trans Mountain said the new line would mostly run alongside it for the 980-kilometre project.
The public open house was held on the same day it was announced a leak of up to 25 barrels had been discovered on the existing pipeline 40 km east of Hope, weeks after another breach was found near Merritt.
The company said the source of the breach was a defect in the pipeline discovered during a routine inspection.
Toth insisted the company is dedicated to pipeline safety, despite the recent breaches and a 2007 spill on the Barnett Highway in Burnaby that resulted in thousands of litres of oil coating parts of a neighbourhood.
“Any spill is taken very seriously,” he said. “Our focus is on keeping the oil in the pipeline.”
The initial pipeline application made to the National Energy Board is expected to be approved or rejected sometime in 2015.