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Construction begins for Centerm terminal and road upgrades along the south shore of the Burrard Inlet

Low angle shot of shipping containers on a bright blue clouded day

Construction for the Centerm Expansion Project and South Shore Access Project will begin on July 2, 2019 and is expected to be complete by the beginning of 2022.

“These projects are being built to help meet anticipated near-term demand for containers shipped through the Port of Vancouver and will help accommodate Canada’s trade in goods like imported clothing, food, and electronics, and exports such as pulp, paper, lumber, and specialty grains,” said Robin Silvester, President and Chief Executive Officer of the Vancouver Fraser Port Authority.

The projects will be contained to port land on the south shore of the Burrard Inlet, and include:

  • Reconfiguration and expansion of the Centerm container terminal. Once complete, the terminal will be able to accommodate a 60 per cent increase in container traffic by having added only 15 per cent more land.
  • Construction of a new overpass on Centennial Road to bypass rail tracks.
  • Changes to Waterfront Road so that it is a continuous port road from Canada Place to the McGill Street port entrance.
  • Removal of the Heatley Avenue overpass.

Recognizing that growth can have impacts on the environment, the port authority is ensuring the project is built to high, sustainable-infrastructure standards.

“In 2017 we received Envision Platinum for our Low Level Road project in North Vancouver, which was the first transportation project in North America to receive this rating from the Institute for Sustainable Infrastructure’s Envision-verified sustainable infrastructure rating system,” continued Silvester. “We are taking the same thorough approach to community and environmental considerations in these two important projects along Vancouver’s south shore.”

The Vancouver Fraser Port Authority is integrating environmental sustainability efforts throughout the projects, including:

  • Pursuing a minimum of Envision Gold certification to ensure sustainable construction.
  • Pursuing LEED Gold certification for the new Centerm operations and administration building.
  • Installing a second shore power connection at Centerm on the newly expanded berth, so that if two ships with the necessary equipment are in port at the same time, they can both switch off their diesel-powered engines.
  • Installing terminal equipment that will help reduce greenhouse gases, including electrified rail mounted gantry cranes in place of the diesel-powered rubber tire gantry cranes currently used in the intermodal yard.
  • Creating new habitat to offset impacts of the project; the Maplewood Marine Restoration Project will restore approximately five hectares of currently low-value marine habitat into higher-value intertidal flat, eelgrass and rock reef habitat.
  • Ensuring dredging required for terminal expansion reduces the overall impacts on fish habitat by completing dredging within Fisheries and Oceans Canada’s marine works window.

“The Centerm Expansion Project will add much needed capacity and increase efficiency through process improvements. As a result, Canada’s trans-Pacific gateway will be more competitive as Canadian exports shift from North American to Asian markets.  Also, the expansion will secure existing Canadian jobs while creating more well-paying jobs in the port industry,” added Maksim Mihic, General Manager of DP World (Canada) Inc., operator of Centerm container terminal.

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