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Community
 / 01.28.20

Looking back at our FortisBC Gas Line Upgrades

Work is complete on our gas line in Vancouver, Burnaby and Coquitlam—and we want to thank everyone for their patience. The new line was brought into service in December 2019 and helps supply natural gas to more than 210,000 homes and businesses across the Lower Mainland.

Our gas line upgrade by the numbers

Our FortisBC Gas Line Upgrades project connects our upgraded facilities in Vancouver and Coquitlam with a new gas line built along East 1st Avenue in Vancouver, Lougheed Highway and Broadway in Burnaby and Como Lake Avenue in Coquitlam.

In all, 20 kilometres of new 30-inch gas line was installed to replace a 20-inch line built 60 years ago.

It’s one of the largest urban infrastructure projects we’ve ever completed—and it boasts some pretty big numbers.

 

We want to thank the entire community for its patience and understanding as we completed our gas line upgrades safely and as quickly as possible. It’s been a privilege to work with the communities of Vancouver, Burnaby and Coquitlam during construction over these past two years.

Ian Miki, Project Director, FortisBC Gas Line Upgrades
Ian Miki Project Director, FortisBC Gas Line Upgrades

Community engagement

Community engagement started in February 2014, more than four years prior to construction. From beginning to end, our team worked hard to stay in touch with property owners and keep the community informed, including:
•    hand-delivering approximately 7,000 letters to homes and businesses
•    interacting with the public on more than 14,000 occasions in 2018-19 alone
•    supporting and attending more than 90 events in communities along the route, including Italian Day on the Drive in Vancouver, the Giro di Burnaby cycling event and annual Great Salmon Send-Off in Burnaby and Oakdale’s Neighbour Day in Coquitlam.
 

Jo talking to business owner

 

A typical day for me would be boots on the ground working with our traffic engineers, visiting local businesses to give them the latest updates or dropping work notices off at area homes. I love helping people and solving problems, so I work closely with businesses and the public to help resolve issues that pop up.

Jo Hunton-Sehdev, Community Relations Liaison, FortisBC
Joanne Hunton-Sehdev Community and Indigenous Relations Liaison, FortisBC

Supporting local businesses

We began building relationships with more than 100 business owners along the route well before construction began. We stayed in touch, providing regular updates throughout the project, and addressing their unique concerns wherever possible. We also worked with businesses on promotional opportunities to raise awareness that businesses were open and ready to welcome customers during construction. The detailed traffic plans we implemented helped ensure the public always had access to their favourite stores and services.  

With more than 350 skilled-trades people needed on the project at times, it opened up opportunities for local workers, including for women in trades.

One of the local companies that benefited from the creation of additional local skilled-trades jobs on the project was Brymark Installations Group, a general contractor based in Port Coquitlam. Brymark began working on the upgrade in 2018. Their work on the gate stations and pit stations along the route helped ensure gas could be safely distributed to homes and businesses.

Want to learn more about our project? Visit our FortisBC Gas Line Upgrades project page.

construction worker

 

We appreciate our partnership with FortisBC and the value it brings to the Burnaby Board of Trade. FortisBC did an excellent job communicating with the community throughout the gas line upgrade projectthey set the gold standard for public engagement.

Paul Holden, President & CEO, Burnaby Board of Trade
Paul Holden President & CEO, Burnaby Board of Trade

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