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Metro committee OK's $15.7M US contract for Coquitlam water pipe

Metro Vancouver’s water committee voted yesterday to award a $15.7-million US contract for the Pipeline Road section of the Coquitlam Main No. 4 project.

A big pipe will soon be on order for Coquitlam.

On Wednesday (Jan.12), Metro Vancouver’s water committee — which includes Coquitlam Coun. Brent Asmundson, Port Moody Mayor Rob Vagramov and Belcarra Mayor Jamie Ross — voted to award a $15.7-million US contract for the southern Pipeline Road section of the Coquitlam Main No. 4 project.

The committee’s recommendation will go to the Metro Vancouver board of directors on Jan. 28 for ratification.

The contract is for the supply and delivery of a 1.5-kilometre pipe that’s scheduled to go under Pipeline Road this fall between Guildford Way and Robson Drive — on the eastern side of Town Centre Park.

The pipeline dig is the first part of the 12-kilometre installation of the water main that, when complete in 2029, will run from Cape Horn to the northern end of Pipeline Road, linking with the reservoir. 

The aim of the project is to meet the growing regional demand for drinking water.

The Washington State-based Northwest Pipe Company was the only firm to bid on the contract, according to the water committee report, which resulted in a savings of $326,851 and more storage time. The pipe will be constructed at the company’s southern California facility, the report states.

Metro Vancouver officials say getting qualified steel pipe manufacturers in North America is tough due to high shipping costs, among other things; many water utilities such as the cities of Los Angeles and Calgary, are now buying steel directly from the Northwest Pipe Company.

Canadian steel pipe builders like Canadian Phoenix, Pipe and Piling and Ewing Fabricators didn’t submit bids for the Coquitlam project as their facilities in Canada or Asia aren’t capable of make steel pipes to meet Metro Vancouver’s specifications under the American Water Works Association, the report states.

Coun. Asmundson told the Tri-City News on Jan. 17 his concern with the pipe contract is "the fact that we only received one bid. I raised this issue to staff and [they] stated they are now trying to go offshore to get more bids but this is not the first contract awarded that had only one bid."

Information about the Coquitlam Main No. 4 project is available via Metro Vancouver's community liaison at 604-432-6200 (Monday to Friday, 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.) or after hours at 604-451-6610 (4:30 p.m. to 8 a.m. daily).

Alternatively, email