Metro Vancouver will start to install a massive water main through Coquitlam next year.
And residents and business owners along the construction route are being advised now of the infrastructure work that, in total, will last up to eight years to get into the ground.
On Monday, the city’s council-in-committee heard from Bob Cheng and Vanessa Anthony about the big dig for the Coquitlam Water Main #4 — a pipe will range from 2.2 m to 3.2 m in diametre — as well as its plans to communicate with the affected neighbourhoods.
The first portion of the tunnelling will begin in the fall of 2022 along Pipeline Road, on the east side of Town Centre Park, from Robson Drive to Guildford Way. That work is due to last two years, and it will be followed by a city project to widen and repave Pipeline.
Construction along the north section of Pipeline — up to the watershed, where Metro Vancouver draws its drinking water from Coquitlam Lake — will start in 2024, as will the Cape Horn section, to the south. The City Centre work is due to run 2025 to 2029.
Speaking to the committee via Zoom, Cheng said the regional authority is consulting with First Nations, as well as city staff and stakeholders to discuss construction impacts and mitigation measures for the 12-km long pipe. Specifically, he said, the project involves:
- Reducing Pipeline Road to a single lane between Robson Drive and El Casa Court, staged in 200 m work zones (traffic will also be detoured, and personnel will be in place)
- Using the Town Centre Park gravel parking lot as a staging area, and moving the community garden boxes to a different site in the city (the greenhouse will stay)
- Allowing the contractors’ construction to proceed as per the municipality’s bylaws: Monday to Friday, 7 a.m. to 8 p.m., and Saturdays and Sundays from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m.)
As well, about 300 trees — on the east side of Percy Perry Stadium — will be pulled; however, they will be replaced with others in Town Centre Park and in other areas.
In addition, Anthony said, Metro Vancouver recruited a community liaison this summer for public outreach on the project. Advertisements and signs along Pipeline will go up.
Meanwhile, a virtual open house is scheduled to be held on Nov. 3, Anthony said.
The new water main, which will link with Metro Vancouver’s water supply system, aims to quench the region’s future demand for drinking water.