Construction of Trans Mountain Pipeline Expansion Completed in Edmonton Area

After two years of construction, construction of the Trans Mountain Pipeline Expansion is complete in the Edmonton area.

Trans Mountain Corp., a federal Crown corporation, announced on Tuesday that work to replace the existing line that runs through several neighborhoods in south Edmonton has been completed.

The new lines stretch nearly 50 kilometers from Trans Mountain’s Edmonton terminal at Sherwood Park to the Acheson industrial area west of the city.

Much of the new pipeline was laid along the Transit Utility Corridor in which the southern section of Anthony Henday Drive is located.

Map showing the existing Trans Mountain pipeline and the route of the replacement section around Edmonton.

Trans Mountain Corp.

The project included complicated crossings under roads and the North Saskatchewan River.

Trans Mountain used a trenchless construction technique to minimize the need to close major roads, as well as horizontal directional drilling (HDD).

Construction began in December 2019 and included the installation of 48,762 meters of pipe, 14 horizontal directional drills and 472 tie-ins, or work to connect different sections of pipe to form a single line.

Trans Mountain said the project required 1.5 million man-hours of labor. SA Energy was the contractor responsible for the pipeline expansion work in the Edmonton area.

“This is an important milestone for the Trans Mountain expansion project, made possible through the hard work and dedication of some 900 workers and our Indigenous and local business partners,” said Ian Anderson, President and CEO of Trans Mountain Corp.

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Anderson said 22% of the Edmonton expansion’s workforce was Indigenous and $57 million in contracts had been awarded to 42 Indigenous companies.

Enoch Cree First Nation, located just west of Edmonton, hosted one of the staging sites for the construction.

FILE: Then-Premier Rachel Notley joined the Enoch Cree Nation, federal government and Trans Mountain officials for a special blessing ceremony near the site that will store the pipes needed to build the Trans Mountain expansion project on July 27, 2018.

FILE: Then-Premier Rachel Notley joined the Enoch Cree Nation, federal government and Trans Mountain officials for a special blessing ceremony near the site that would store the pipes needed to build the Trans Mountain expansion project on July 27, 2018.

Fletcher Kent, World News

Although the construction phase of the pipeline in the greater Edmonton area has been completed, there are still several stages before the new section of the pipeline is ready to be put into service. Some activities will continue along the line, including rehabilitation work and seeding.

Trans Mountain said other construction work is continuing at the Edmonton Terminal, pump stations and other sections and facilities along the line.

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The pipeline expansion is designed to triple the capacity of the existing 1950s pipeline from Edmonton to a marine terminal in Burnaby, British Columbia, to approximately 890,000 barrels per day of products including diluted bitumen, lighter crudes and refined fuels like gasoline.

Construction on the entire project was suspended for several weeks last winter, following the death of a worker and the serious injury of another.

A worker was hospitalized on December 15, 2020 after an on-site incident at the Burnaby terminal in British Columbia, where the 1,150 kilometer long pipeline ends.

The incident in British Columbia happened seven weeks after Samatar Sahal, a 40-year-old employee of SA Energy, died at the construction site in the west end of Edmonton.

Sahal was grabbed and pinned under a crosspiece of a trench box that was being dismantled near the intersection of Whitemud Drive and Winterburn Road/215 Street.

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Trans Mountain said that as of Jan. 8, overall construction of the expansion was more than 45% complete, including pre-construction activities, had exceeded 55% overall progress.

Construction is currently ramping up on portions of pipeline in the Fraser Valley and Lower Mainland of British Columbia

Trans Mountain said major parts of the project, including the Burnaby Mountain Tunnel and the Westridge and Burnaby Terminals, are all past halfway through construction.

The existing pipeline was closed as a precaution on November 14, amid record rainfall that caused catastrophic flooding and landslides in southern British Columbia.

The company said that as of December 31, 2021, approximately 12,700 people were working on the entire project.

Trans Mountain is the only pipeline system in Canada carrying oil from Alberta to the West Coast.

It was bought by the federal government for $4.5 billion in 2018, after former owner Kinder Morgan Canada Inc. threatened to abandon a planned pipeline expansion in the face of environmental opposition.

© 2022 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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