On top of navigating some of the most rugged and beautiful terrain in B.C., the Coastal GasLink project’s 670 km project route crosses many waterways. Each crossing is treated with the utmost care and respect, with many months of preparation by teams of experts to determine the safest way to cross.
“We take protecting watercourses very seriously, both because of their intrinsic environmental value and also because they support the diverse communities Coastal GasLink passes through,” said Adair Rigney, Coastal GasLink’s team lead of environmental planning & permitting.
The project’s crossing of the Morice River near Houston, B.C. is no exception. “Before construction begins, we gather extensive information through a variety of assessments to select the safest and most appropriate water crossing method. Everything from water flow, bank stability, fish presence and habitat, constructability, and regulatory requirements are carefully considered,” added Adair.
After carefully examining the data collected, the project selected the trenchless micro-tunneling method to cross beneath the Morice River. The state-of-the-art method uses hydraulic jacks and a tunnel boring machine to install concrete segments deep below the water body without coming into contact with the river or any of its channels.
Pipe is then safely pulled through the tunnel created by the concrete segments and then the tunnel and pipe are carefully tested and sealed. The advanced micro-tunneling method is uniquely suited for the ground conditions around the Morice River. It requires minimal excavation, is highly precise, and has minimal environmental disturbance without ever affecting the flow of the river.
Throughout the process, local Indigenous community members will be on site to monitor construction activities and report back to their communities through the Construction Monitoring and Community Liaison Program.
Once completed, the Morice River micro-tunneling crossing will be Coastal GasLink’s fifth trenchless water crossing and one of thousands of crossings throughout B.C., all operating safely under rivers and streams of all sizes.
For Tommy Adair, Lead Environmental Inspector for Sections 5, 6, and 7, the proven legacy of micro-tunneling and trenchless crossings speak to the extraordinary lengths the project goes to protect our waterways. “Trenchless crossing methodologies are effective and safe. They’ve become an industry standard for more significant crossings such as the Morice River.”
“The way that the river’s flowing now, it’s flowed for centuries. We plan for it to remain that way for centuries more.”
Learn more about how Coastal GasLink is protecting our waterways and environment by visiting CoastalGasLink.com.