Construction could start soon on underground sewer line

Federal and provincial funds secured for Fraser River project in Mission

Construction will soon begin on a second $8.6 million underwater sewer line across the Fraser River after council approved a resolution to update the project budget with provincial and federal funding.

Up to 83 per cent, or $6,898,023, of the total costs could be covered by the provincial and federal governments under the Clean Water and Wastewater Fund (CWWF).

Council moved to advance the project funds to 2017 to expedite the project to the construction phase. The project deadline is March 2018.

Engineers say that dredging is also the option they will most likely take in building the tunnel, which was first announced in March by Member of Parliament for Mission-Matsqui-Fraser Canyon, Jati Sidhu, and MLAs Marc Dalton and Simon Gibson.

While that option has not yet been finalized, they say that is what has already been budgeted and is a more reliable option than line boring and tunnelling under the river.

“The preference is to dredge because of the cost, and the grant application was under the assumption of dredging,” Hirod Gill, manager of engineering, design and planning, said. “The other option is going to be more expensive. We won’t go there unless dredging fails.”

Gill said unless something drastic changes, then dredging is the option.

There were also questions about where the district might store the sand that will be dug up during construction, but no suitable locations have yet been considered.

The original sewer line was built in 1983, but engineers have been unable to test its condition due to it being a pressurized line. It’s expected to be at capacity within the next five years.

The new line would travel approximately 2,400 metres to the JAMES Wastewater Treatment Plant in Abbotsford, with 950 metres of that expected to be dredged.

Construction could even start earlier than the originally expected September start date.

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