Lower Mainland System Upgrades

FortisBC Gas Line Upgrades

About this project

Gas line construction traffic delays

We’re replacing a natural gas line in Vancouver, Burnaby and Coquitlam. This work will make sure our customers continue receiving the reliable natural gas they count on in their homes and businesses every day.

Project construction will begin spring 2018, and will be complete in late 2019.

Businesses along the construction route will remain open while we’re working, but we’ll need to close a number of busy roads so we can complete this project as safely and quickly as possible.

Upcoming closures:

  • lane closures on East 1st Avenue from Nanaimo Street to Boundary Drive starting in spring 2018
  • full closure of East 1st Avenue from Clark Drive to Nanaimo Street in Vancouver, from mid-June to August 31, 2018

We recognize these closures will affect many local residents’ and commuters’ daily lives, and we appreciate your patience during this disruption.

Traffic impacts

How we’ll keep you informed:

  • We’ll post closure notifications in advance here so you can plan your commute.
  • We’ll also be providing closure updates to regional traffic radio stations.
  • We’ll send regular construction and traffic updates via email. Sign up here.
  • We're hosting upcoming public information sessions, including a session on April 24 focused on construction in Vancouver.
  • Translink will provide up-to-date trip planning and advisories when construction affects their services.
  • Follow us on Twitter, @FortisBC for regular updates.

Construction route

Vancouver

  • On East 1st Avenue, between our 2nd Avenue and Woodland facility and Boundary Road, we’re replacing approximately 5 km of 20-inch gas line with new 30-inch gas line.
  • We’re also replacing approximately 300 metres of gas line near our facility at SE Marine Drive and Elliott.

Burnaby

  • We’re installing approximately 8 km of new 30-inch natural gas line, from Boundary Road along Graveley St. to Douglas Road and down to Lougheed Highway. The line continues along Lougheed to Bainbridge Avenue and then continues on Broadway to Gaglardi Way and North Road.

Coquitlam

  • We’re installing approximately 7 km of new 30-inch natural gas along Como Lake Avenue from North Road to our facility at Spuraway Avenue, near Mariner Way.

Why we're replacing gas lines

Every day we work to ensure the safe and reliable delivery of natural gas to our customers. This includes regular monitoring of our gas lines, and ongoing maintenance and upgrades.

Our natural gas line running from Vancouver to Coquitlam has been in service since the 1950s. It’s still safe, but we proactively upgrade our system to avoid any potential safety issues. We’ll replace the old 20-inch line with a new 30-inch gas line.

We’ll also replace 300 metres of gas line in south Vancouver to improve our system’s ability to withstand an earthquake.

These upgrades will ensure we’re able to continue meeting the needs of more than 210,000 customers who rely on our system to safely deliver natural gas to their homes and businesses—now, and well into the future.

How will this project affect your community?

While businesses along the construction route will remain open throughout this project, there will be some temporary road and lane closures that will disrupt traffic and cause delays.

We appreciate your patience while we complete these important safety upgrades. The route we chose allows us to complete the project as safely and quickly as possible, with the least amount of impact possible to local residents and businesses, and to the environment.

Gas line construction methods

The type of gas line construction most people are familiar with is open cut, also known as traditional trench construction, where an open trench is dug and the gas line is laid in the trench. Open cut construction is the most commonly used construction method because it’s far less expensive than other methods, and is the simplest way to install a gas line.

However, when you’re installing a gas line under road crossings, the preferred method is some form of trenchless construction. With this technique you’re not likely to see much activity, because it involves digging a tunnel underground and then pushing the gas line through. By using a variety of trenchless construction methods when possible, we’ll keep a number of intersections open to traffic crossing the route of our gas line.

Read more about open cut and trenchless construction.

Our project manager

Senior project manager Melanie Kilpatrick gives an overview of this upgrade project.

Learn more about Melanie and her role on the project.

Safety first

Safety is at the core of the work we do every day. By improving our system we can meet the needs of our customers today and well into the future. We have rigorous plans in place to ensure the safety and security of the public, our natural gas system, the environment and our employees.

Our natural gas system has an excellent safety record thanks to regular inspections, maintenance and upgrades to our system in accordance with Canadian codes and standards. But what does that involve?

To find out, read our Q&A with Fred Young, FortisBC’s Vancouver pipeline transmission manager.

Environmental stewardship

We’ve developed a comprehensive environmental management plan for this project, in accordance with all environmental legislation and accepted industry standards.

Environmental consultants have been working with us at every stage of the project to help protect vegetation, fish and wildlife and their habitat, and we’ll continue to have environmental professionals on-site monitoring construction.

Vancouver roadwork: limited lane closures

Beginning on April 19, we will be working at various locations in Vancouver in advance of the lane and road closures taking place later this spring. The purpose of this work is to locate underground utilities, such as water lines, in preparation for the required natural gas line upgrades. Upcoming work will include crews working at different locations along East 1st Avenue, between Boundary Road and Kaslo Street, from April 19–28. Crews will work at each location for a few days at a time.

This work will take place primarily during the weekdays from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m., and between 7 a.m. and 3 p.m. on Saturdays. This work will result in periodic lane closures, approximately one block in length, and we appreciate the patience of the local community and commuters. Residents with questions about this work can call our project phone line at 604-592-7494 or send an email to gaslineupgrades@fortisbc.com.

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Construction begins this spring

FortisBC is beginning construction of its newest gas line upgrade project this spring, and residents, commuters and businesses in Vancouver and Burnaby should prepare for more traffic congestion than usual. An overview of the project was delivered at Vancouver City Hall today to inform the public and the media. East 1st Avenue in Vancouver will be fully closed from mid-June until the end of August, and will see partial lane closures from spring until the end of the year. FortisBC will be posting regular construction updates on TalkingEnergy.ca and sharing updates with local traffic media to help reduce the impact of the construction. For more information on today’s announcement visit FortisBC’s media centre.

FortisBC Gas Line Upgrades

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Woodland Station demolition

In preparation for the natural gas line upgrade project, our contractor will begin demolishing the existing Woodland Station during the week of January 15th. Work will take place on weekdays between 7:30 a.m. and 8 p.m, with occasional Saturday work also required, and is expected to be complete by early March. Whenever possible, our contractor will look to finish activity by 5 p.m. to limit noise disruption. During this period, there will be local traffic closures on Woodland Drive and East 2nd Avenue, and limited street parking will be available. Motorists are asked to follow the directions of crews working in the area. Once demolition is complete, we will provide further notification regarding the upcoming construction schedule for Woodland Station. We appreciate the public’s patience as we work to complete this project as quickly and safely as possible.

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Adanac Overpass closure

The City of Vancouver recently notified residents of the temporary Adanac Overpass closure, which is related to our Vancouver to Coquitlam natural gas line upgrade project. Information about the Adanac Overpass closure and related lane and street closures, including sections of East First Avenue, is included in the below letter.

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Burnaby construction work: preparation for project

We are currently working at various locations in Burnaby in advance of the project beginning in 2018. The purpose of this work is to locate underground utilities, such as waterlines, in preparation for required natural gas line upgrades. This work is beginning on December 21 and will be taking place at different locations along Broadway and Lougheed Highway, and will continue intermittently in January.

Work is scheduled to take place during daytime hours from Monday to Friday, although weekend work may be required in January, and there may be traffic impacts associated with this work. We apologize for the inconvenience that this causes the nearby community, and we appreciate their patience. Residents with concerns about this work can call our project phone line at 604.592.7494 or send an email to gaslineupgrades@fortisbc.com.

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East 2nd Avenue and Woodland Drive: construction update

In preparation for natural gas line replacement, crews will be working near Woodland Station between December 11 - 20. There will be loud noise associated with this work, including a number of construction trucks in the area. Crews will be working during weekdays from 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. to minimize noise impacts and during this time, Woodland Drive will be single lane alternating traffic between East 2nd and East 3rd Avenues. Limited street parking will be available during these dates. We appreciate the public’s patience and will work to complete this project as quickly and safely as possible.

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Vancouver construction work: preparation for project

We are currently working at various locations in Vancouver in advance of the project beginning in 2018. The purpose of this work is to locate underground utilities, such as waterlines, in preparation for required natural gas line upgrades. This work is scheduled to take place from November 28 to December 1, primarily at different locations along East First Avenue.

A portion of this work will take place overnight with crews working between 7 p.m. and 6 a.m., and during this time surrounding residents will likely experience noise impacts associated with the work. We apologize for the inconvenience that this causes the nearby community, and we appreciate their patience. Residents with concerns about this work can call our project phone line at 604.592.7494 or send an email to gaslineupgrades@fortisbc.com.

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Coquitlam construction update: night work to prepare for project

We are currently conducting night work in the Como Lake area of Coquitlam for this gas line upgrade project. The purpose of this work is to locate underground utilities, such as waterlines, in preparation for required natural gas line upgrades. This work is being completed at night to minimize traffic impacts to the community, and to ensure its completion as quickly and safely as possible. Crews will be working between 7 p.m. and 6 a.m., and during this time surrounding residents will likely experience noise impacts associated with the work. We apologize for the inconvenience that this causes the nearby community, and we appreciate their patience. Residents with concerns about this work can call our project phone line at 604.592.7494 or send an email to gaslineupgrades@fortisbc.com.

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Public information session

FortisBC representatives host an information session to discuss the upcoming vegetation clearing works taking place in Burnaby. Learn more about the work taking place.

East 1st Avenue construction update

Trenchless (underground) construction will continue until September 15 on East 1st Avenue in Vancouver between the Highway 1 off-ramp and Boundary Road. Construction will take place from 7 a.m. to 5 p.m., with one lane closed in either direction. The westbound centre lane may also be closed from 7 a.m. to 3 p.m. on a limited number of weekends.

  • Periodic lane closures will be required.
  • Trenchless construction will be used to minimize traffic disruptions.
  • All sidewalks, crosswalks and bus stops in the area will remain open.

East 1st Avenue Vancouver construction update

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Public information session

FortisBC representatives host an information session to discuss the upcoming vegetation clearing works taking place in Burnaby. Learn more about the work taking place.

Burnaby vegetation clearing info sessions

Vegetation clearing will soon start in Burnaby as part of preparation for our Vancouver to Coquitlam natural gas line upgrades in 2018. Most of the work will be concentrated along the Broadway corridor between Production Way and Underhill Avenue, and will take place from mid-September to early November 2017.

Learn more by attending one of our two public information sessions.

Burnaby map illustration

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East 1st Avenue construction update

Between July 4 and August 31, 2017, trenchless (underground) construction will occur on East 1st Avenue in Vancouver between the Highway 1 off-ramp and Boundary Road. Construction will take place from 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. from July 4 to August 31, with one lane closed in either direction. The westbound centre lane may also be closed from 7 a.m. to 3 p.m. on a limited number of weekends.

  • Period lane closures will be required.
  • Trenchless construction will be used to minimize traffic disruptions.
  • All sidewalks, crosswalks and bus stops in the area will remain open.

East 1st Ave map

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Poirier and Robinson Streets construction update

We’re upgrading our natural gas line from Vancouver to Coquitlam because we’re committed to delivering natural gas safely and reliably to our customers. Our upgrade project includes replacing 20 kilometres of existing 20-inch gas line with 20 kilometres of 30-inch gas line.

Lateral work

We’ll be installing two laterals in Coquitlam in the coming weeks to prepare for construction in 2018. Laterals connect the mainline to regulator stations and lower the pressure of the natural gas before it reaches our customers. The following closures, parking restrictions and possible water service disruption will be in effect while lateral work on Poirier and Robinson Streets is underway.

Poirier and Robinson Street map

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Clearing complete on right-of-way between Underhill Avenue and Production Way

We’ve completed a temporary restoration of the area around the trail. We’re committed to restoring and improving the trail and replacing invasive species with native plants. A more extensive trail restoration will be done following the installation of the new natural gas line in 2018.

The section of Burnaby Mountain Urban Trail that runs between Underhill Avenue and Production Way trail is now open—and will remain open until the summer, when further closures will be required for additional vegetation clearing activities.

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Vegetation clearing on right-of-way between Underhill Avenue and Production Way

In preparation of gas line construction, we cleared vegetation along an existing right of way on Broadway, from Underhill Avenue to Production Way, in Burnaby. The clearing work is required to extend culverts on three streams along the route and to provide safe access for workers and equipment when construction begins.

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Public information session

FortisBC representatives host an information session to discuss the project and answer questions about early construction activities.

Public information session

FortisBC representatives host an information session to discuss the project and answer questions about early construction activities.

Detailed engineering studies start

Upon approval from the British Columbia Utilities Commission, we created detailed studies of the precise gas line route. These studies take into account other buried utilities, like water mains. They also consider community impacts, the materials we’ll use, and construction specifications. We began procuring materials, in addition to a number of construction planning activities that are underway.

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British Columbia Utilities Commission approval

Based on feedback from the public and municipalities, the proposed route is revised in April 2015, with 25 per cent of alignment re-routed based on public feedback. Six months later and with the determination made that the project is in the public interest, the British Columbia Utilities Commission grants a Certificate of Public Convenience and Necessity for the project.

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Public information session

FortisBC representatives host an information session in Burnaby to discuss the project and answer questions.

Completion of early engineering studies

Early engineering studies involve preliminary designs to support an application to the British Columbia Utilities Commission. This includes studies of the general area to select a preferred route, initial designs of the pipeline and valve stations, and cost estimates to support the application.

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Public information session

FortisBC representatives host an information session in Burnaby to discuss the project and answer questions.

Public information session

FortisBC representatives host an initial information session in Vancouver to discuss the project and answer questions.

Public information session

FortisBC representatives host an initial information session in Burnaby to discuss the project and answer questions.

Public information session

FortisBC representatives host an initial information session in Burnaby to discuss the project and answer questions.

Public information session

FortisBC representatives host an initial information session in Coquitlam to discuss the project and answer questions.

Over the past few years, we’ve held a number of project information sessions and shared information with municipalities, property owners, businesses, Indigenous communities and residents.

We’ll keep you informed about the gas line replacement project, and how it will affect your community. We welcome your feedback and encourage you to ask questions throughout construction.

Businesses are open

Your favourite local businesses along the route will be kept open throughout construction, though you may need to access them differently. We encourage you to continue supporting these businesses. We’ll make every effort to reduce inconvenience for businesses, consumers and local residents.

How this gas line safety upgrade is creating jobs and economic opportunities for BC

We’ve committed more than $33.3 million to date in local spending

FortisBC Upgrades spending

We want to maximize the benefits of our projects in the community. $33.3 million has been spent on this project to date, and that includes working with local vendors and suppliers in communities, including Vancouver, Burnaby, Surrey and Richmond.

We have had involvement with vendors and suppliers from 11 local communities working on the project so far, including:

  • surveyors
  • engineers
  • environmental and archaeological consultants

Jobs and procurement opportunities

One of our priorities is creating local jobs, opportunities for Indigenous communities and other local economic benefits.

If you’re interested in providing goods or services for any of our current projects, or for future opportunities, please complete the Contractors and Vendors form.

Investing in our local communities

We believe in supporting local organizations that help build safe and caring communities.

As part of this gas line safety upgrade, we’ve been working to raise awareness of the projects and strengthen partnerships that exist within the communities. Some examples include:

  • Board of Trade and Chamber of Commerce partnerships
  • sponsoring recreational events such as Coquitlam Neighbourhood nights, Giro de Burnaby and Italian Days
  • grassroots community engagement activities such as neighbourhood open houses and pop-up booths

What’s the latest construction progress update?

We completed pre-construction preparation work in 2017, and the construction phase is set to begin this spring. For the latest information, please visit the updates page.

When will the project end?

Work will continue through 2018 and 2019.

Will there be road closures?

There will be lane and road closures. We understand this will cause significant delays, and we appreciate your patience as we complete these important safety upgrades. Closures will be communicated well in advance so you can plan alternate routes.

Will gas service be affected during construction?

There may be temporary service disruptions for customers living along the construction route. We’re making every effort to minimize the impact to our gas customers and will give advance warning about service disruptions whenever possible.

Who do we contact if we have questions or concerns about this project?

Please call us at 604-592-7494 or email us at gaslineupgrades@fortisbc.com.

Why is this project necessary?

The existing gas line between our station in Vancouver at East 2nd Avenue and Woodland Drive, and our station in Coquitlam at Como Lake Road and Mariner Way, is nearing the end of its useful life. Replacing this gas line will ensure we can continue delivering natural gas safely and reliably to more than 210,000 customers.

What kind of work is involved in building a natural gas line?

We’re using two construction methods to install the new gas lines:

  • Open cut construction involves digging an open trench and laying the line before refilling the trench and repaving it. This method sometimes requires road or lane closures.
  • In trenchless construction, most of the activity is below ground, meaning less need for road closures. There are a number of different approaches to trenchless construction.

For more information, visit our construction methods page.

Will this project offer any economic benefits for local communities?

This project is creating jobs and opportunities for local and Indigenous businesses. More than $33.3 million has already been spent with local vendors and suppliers.

How are you supporting the communities affected by this project?

For the past few years, we’ve been working to minimize the effects of this project as much as possible.

We’ve listened to local residents, business associations, Indigenous groups and the municipalities of Vancouver, Burnaby and Coquitlam to understand their concerns about the gas line route during the regulatory review period.

In some cases we made changes to our plans, such as moving the proposed route from a residential neighbourhood north of Brentwood Town Centre to Lougheed Highway, at the request of residents and the City of Burnaby.

Ultimately, the chosen construction route allows us to complete this project as safely and quickly as possible, with the least amount of disruption to the environment, and local residents and businesses. 

We’ll continue to work closely with those directly affected by the project, and encourage anyone with questions or concerns to contact us.

Will this project provide construction jobs?

Yes—one of our priorities is to create job and business opportunities for local residents and Indigenous communities.

If you’re interested in providing goods or services for any of our current projects, or for future opportunities, please complete the Contractors and Vendors form.

Why was this route chosen?

We considered a number of route options and factors during our planning process. Our top priority on all of our projects is ensuring the safety of our employees and the public. We also look to minimize the impact to the community wherever possible, as well as protect the environment in those areas where we work.

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