2019-2022 I Prince Rupert, BC I Partnership with AECOM
One of Western Canada’s largest container trade corridors, the Fairview Container Terminal in Prince Rupert, BC has experienced a boom in local export transload operations. As the terminal continues to grow, so too has the volume of traffic in Prince Rupert—it is estimated that the number of trucks travelling on Highway 16 has grown from 50 to 200 trucks per day.
To minimize container truck traffic through the downtown core, the Prince Rupert Port Authority put the Fairview-Ridley Connector Corridor into motion. This 5km privately-owned road reroutes trucks from local transload and customs facilities directly to the Fairview Container Terminal.
McElhanney partnered with AECOM, who provided conceptual through detailed design (including geotechnical analysis, coastal design, and significant civil, electrical, and drainage design components.) As Engineer of Record, AECOM provided engineering oversight, geotechnical monitoring, reanalysis and optimization, and coastal engineering support during construction.
McElhanney played a key role in supporting Prince Rupert Port Authority with project management and provided survey, field reviews, and contract administration services. This required our team to be on site daily to liaise between the owner, contractor, and design engineer. We also reviewed and tracked submitted documents (such as shop drawings, changes, and Requests for Information) and addressed construction-related issues.
The McElhanney / AECOM team met weekly with Prince Rupert Port Authority and the contractor to address site challenges (such as work in an inter-tidal zone with steep mountain slopes and 8m+ tides, complex geotechnical conditions, habitat compensation, work adjacent to a CN Rail Line and utilities, and archaeological protection.) Data collection and investigation was also challenging, due to the terrain and required drone flights, while the geotechnical investigation required helicopter and barges. These challenges continued through construction, requiring barge-based work and temporary roads as the project progressed to create access to the site.
To stay on schedule, construction took place during low and high tide, requiring vigilant construction administration. McElhanney’s local team provided critical daily reports while travel was restricted during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Despite these complexities, the Fairview-Ridley Connector Corridor was completed in August 2022. This new route reduces drayage by 15km, thereby decreasing commercial vehicle gas emissions by up to 75%. As it eliminates downtown container truck traffic, the Fairview-Ridley Connector Corridor also improves pedestrian and vehicle safety and minimizes stress on local road infrastructure.
In Prince Rupert Port Authority’s press release, President and CEO Shaun Stevenson spoke to the Fairview-Ridley Connector Corridor’s range of economic, social, and environmental benefits: “The Fairview-Ridley Connector Corridor is…designed to maximize efficiency within the Port, upholding our commitment to reduce the impacts of gateway operations on the environment and surrounding community. [It] enables greater efficiencies and competitiveness at the gateway and generates new economic opportunities on local, regional, and national levels.”