Wa­ter sup­ply tun­nel into new phase

De­sign work be­gins this year on con­duit un­der Stan­ley Park to re­place one al­most 90 years old

The Province - - NEWS - JEN­NIFER SALTMAN jen­salt­[email protected]­media.com twit­ter.com/jen­salt­man

De­tailed de­sign work will be­gin later this year on a crit­i­cal wa­ter sup­ply tun­nel that will run un­der Van­cou­ver’s Stan­ley Park.

“The project is re­ally im­por­tant to sup­ply­ing wa­ter to the Metro Van­cou­ver area, and it is through a crown jewel park,” said Go­ran Ol­jaca, direc­tor of en­gi­neer­ing and con­struc­tion with Metro Van­cou­ver wa­ter ser­vices.

A wa­ter main — known as Capi­lano Main No. 4 — al­ready runs through the park. It is al­most 90 years old and car­ries wa­ter from the Sey­mour-Capi­lano Fil­tra­tion Plant to Van­cou­ver, the Musqueam First Na­tion, Rich­mond, Delta and the Tsawwassen First Na­tion — about half of the wa­ter used in the City of Van­cou­ver and onethird of the re­gion’s drink­ing wa­ter.

The steel main, which is 1.8 me­tres in di­am­e­ter, has ex­pe­ri­enced only mi­nor leaks over the years, with the ex­cep­tion of a ma­jor breach near Lost La­goon in Au­gust 2016. That took nearly a month to re­pair.

At that time, it was de­ter­mined that the steel wa­ter pipe was reach­ing the end of its ser­vice­able life­span. Ol­jaca said Metro pipe­lines typ­i­cally are de­signed and built to last any­where be­tween 80 and 100 years, but newer ones can last longer.

The new 1.4-kilo­me­tre tun­nel will run from Bur­rard In­let west of Lum­ber­men’s Arch to near Chilco and Al­berni streets, 40 to 60 me­tres un­der­neath the park and Lost La­goon. The new main, which will be 2.8 me­tres in di­am­e­ter, is ex­pected to have twice the ca­pac­ity of the old one. The con­struc­tion bud­get is around $125 mil­lion.

Ol­jaca said the new tun­nel will be con­structed us­ing three shafts. The main one, where most of the work will take place, could be lo­cated north of the city’s ser­vice yard. Two exit shafts would be lo­cated at the north and south ends of the park.

“I think the im­por­tant thing is Metro Van­cou­ver, or Greater Van­cou­ver Wa­ter District, is work­ing closely with the City of Van­cou­ver, the park board, and First Na­tions to make sure we do this im­por­tant project and at the same time min­i­mize im­pact of the con­struc­tion,” Ol­jaca said.

Ti­ina Mack, the Van­cou­ver park board’s man­ager of park devel­op­ment, said the col­lab­o­ra­tion has worked well so far. She said the board and Metro Van­cou­ver staff are in con­tact reg­u­larly.

“It’s our role to take care of this park and make sure the project is done in a sus­tain­able and safe man­ner for the park and its users,” Mack said.

Mack said it is im­por­tant that the city, First Na­tions, Metro Van­cou­ver and res­i­dents are work­ing to­gether to en­hance the en­vi­ron­ment in Stan­ley Park as part of the project.

The project is cur­rently in the pre­lim­i­nary de­sign stage.

Late last year, Metro Van­cou­ver con­ducted pre­lim­i­nary ground in­ves­ti­ga­tion work at six sites along the tun­nel route. Ol­jaca said the geotech­ni­cal in­for­ma­tion shows that ground con­di­tions are as ex­pected.

That in­for­ma­tion will help Metro with the pre­lim­i­nary de­sign, which is ex­pected to be com­plete by Oc­to­ber of this year. At that point, de­tailed project de­sign will be­gin and last un­til late 2020. That is when Metro will is­sue a re­quest for quo­ta­tions and then a re­quest for pro­pos­als. Con­struc­tion should start in 2021 and con­tinue un­til 2025.

ARLEN RE­DEKOP/PNG

Ti­ina Mack, the Van­cou­ver park board’s man­ager of park devel­op­ment, at Stan­ley Park’s Lost La­goon, says the board is in reg­u­lar con­tact with Metro Van­cou­ver staff on the progress of a new wa­ter sup­ply tun­nel.

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