Trans Mountain crews preparing to drill under Thompson River

Crews are at work in Kenna Cartwright Park and preparations are being made to drill under the Thompson River, as construction of the Trans Mountain pipeline expansion project ramps up in Kamloops. Trans Mountain is expecting to begin drilling to place the new pipeline underneath the river by September and it is expected to take about three months to complete.

The pipeline will pass under the Thompson River near Tranquille Road, east of Kamloops Airport, to the south side of the river near Mission Flats Road. The Crown corporation is currently preparing temporary work spaces, with fencing and cleared areas at either side of the river being crossed. One site will house a drilling rig and equipment, while the other will serve as a staging site for the pipe and include welding and pipe stringing. After the site is prepared, the crossing will be drilled, and the pipe will be pulled through.

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Over at Kenna Cartwright, Trans Mountain is also preparing for construction along the existing pipeline right-of-way, located at the western edge of the park. Initial work includes fencing, grading and clearing.

The park and trails will remain open throughout construction, however detours will be required in some areas.

Residents near to construction are advised to follow instructions from onsite safety personnel.

Earlier this summer, Trans Mountain’s environmental specialists worked in the park with local Indigenous people to salvage cryptogamic crust — made up of moss, lichen, algae and bacteria and important for building soil and plant growth. After construction in the area is complete, the salvaged cryptogamic crust will be replaced in areas disturbed during pipeline construction.

Work is expected to continue in Kenna Cartwright until February 2022.

Active construction in Kamloops at the moment is taking place between Kenna Cartwright Park and Ord Road, but no new pipe has been installed yet, a Trans Mountain spokesperson told KTW.

Currently, Trans Mountain is amassing personnel and equipment to begin boring into the ground at the parking lot of the old Ord Road dog park, and this month a short Ord Road bypass will be constructed to move traffic away from work areas.

Trans Mountain closed the Ord Road dog park due to construction and replaced it with a new dog park on Aviation Way earlier this year.

The company expects to have as many as 600 workers in Kamloops at the peak of construction, but at the moment the general contractor has about 110 — one third of whom are Indigenous and other local workers, a Trans Mountain spokesperson said.

Other contractors also have smaller crews based in Kamloops.

Crews will complete pipeline construction through Kamloops before mobilizing to the Black Pines area. That includes construction on the south shore of the Thompson River southward to the Kamloops Terminal.

© Kamloops This Week



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