Second phase set to begin on sewer project

NANAIMO – Regional District of Nanaimo ready to award construction contract.

A North Vancouver-based construction company could be digging into Nanaimo in the near future.

Vancouver Pile Driving was recently recommended by Nanaimo Regional District staff members to complete work on the Greater Nanaimo Pollution Control Centre’s marine outfall replacement project.

Sean De Pol, regional district manager of wastewater services, says the recommendations, which were advanced at a committee of the whole meeting on Tuesday night, still need to be approved by the board and a final decision will be made later this month.

“As soon as it goes to the board we will then officially award it,” De Pol said.

The marine outfall replacement project is one portion in the second phase of a more than $18-million pipe improvement project for the Hammond Bay Road control centre. The marine outfall replacement calls for the installation of a large two-kilometre underwater pipe that travels east of Morningside Park to the Five Finger Island area and is expected to cost $8.8 million.

“We are putting in a larger pipe,” De Pol said. “The larger pipe will allow for capacity up to a 160,000 people.”

The first phase of the project was completed last year at a cost of $3.5 million, with $2 million coming from the federal Gas Tax Fund. The RDN anticipates the overall cost of the second phase to be roughly $15 million, which will be covered through development cost charges.

Following the approval from the district’s board, work on the marine outfall will begin off site immediately according to De Pol.

“As soon we award it they will start moving forward and mobilizing equipment, but the actual outfall line will be constructed off site,” De Pol said.

Construction on marine outfall was originally slated for this summer, but was delayed due to sections of the land outfall pipe experiencing leaks as well as bad timing with fisheries, according to De Pol.

“Last year we had a serious leak and we had to evacuate a neighbouring home because the excavation was so deep,” De Pol said.

He said the marine outfall will be installed using a float-and-sink technique and hopes the project is completed by the end of next summer.

“They float it [the pipe] just above the location that they want … and it is filled with the air when they put it in place and when they get it to the exact location that they want, they fill it with water and it sinks to the bottom,” De Pol said. “That float and sink process will probably happen next July or August.”