Coastal GasLink pipeline construction into the home stretch

As construction on Coastal GasLink winds down, crews are working to cleanup and reclaim the land. Clay and topsoil removed during construction has been stored on site and will now be used to contour the land to its previous shape to re-establish original drainage patterns. Photo courtesy Coastal GasLink

“Incredible progress” continues on the Coastal GasLink pipeline, with 98 per cent of pipe now installed. 

The project has also achieved a major milestone with completion of all 800 water crossings along the route from northeast B.C. to the LNG Canada terminal being built in Kitimat. 

This includes 10 major “trenchless” water crossings, the project reported in its latest construction update.  

Where a “trenched” watercourse crossing involves digging a trench through a flowing watercourse, trenchless crossings use horizontal drilling so there is little to no disturbance to the riverbed or banks, according to the Canada Energy Regulator.  

Coastal GasLink has used a trenchless micro-tunneling approach in areas such as crossing the Wedzin Kwa (Morice River) near Houston, B.C.  

As the First Nations LNG Alliance described, this creates a tunnel beneath the riverbed using a remote-controlled tunnel boring machine. Then hydraulic jacks push concrete casing segments through the tunnel.  

Coastal GasLink completed the Morice River crossing in July. 

In August, the fifth of eight pipeline segments was completed by Nadleh-Macro, a partnership between the Nadlah Whut’en First Nation and Macro Pipelines.  

In all, Coastal GasLink said it has awarded $1.7 billion in contracts to local and Indigenous businesses so far.  

There are about 4,800 people still working along the project route. Crews are ensuring the ground and topsoil is reinstated to be ready to start reclamation, and reclamation is underway in many sections along the route, the project said.   

“Until the route is completely revegetated, which could take a few years due to seasonal constraints, our crews will continue implementing and monitoring measures as required to protect the environment and meet our commitments,” Coastal GasLink said.  

Completion is expected by the end of the year. Meanwhile, at last report construction of the LNG Canada terminal is about 85 per cent complete and on track to shipping first cargos of B.C. LNG to global markets by 2025.  

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