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03.08.17 / Safety

Open cut and trenchless construction

For the FortisBC Gas Line Upgrades project, we’ll be using two main construction methods, similar to the upgrade project we completed in 2017 in Surrey and Coquitlam.

Traditional trench construction

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. The trench is then refilled with earth and the area is either repaved or restored, depending on where the trench was dug.

Lane closures are sometimes necessary during open cut construction. You’ll see flag personnel controlling traffic and heavy equipment such as excavators onsite.

Open cut construction is necessary when there are large underground boulders or loose, sandy soil conditions.

Trenchless construction

With trenchless construction, you’re not likely to see much activity, because it involves digging a tunnel underground, then pushing the gas line through. One advantage of trenchless construction is that lane closures are rarely necessary, which means fewer traffic disruptions.

Space can be tight in the rights of way in some areas. The design of trenchless technology allows us to install the gas line with limited impacts to adjacent property owners and commuters. In fact, most commuters won’t be aware of trenchless construction while it’s happening.

Despite the fact that trenchless technologies are constantly evolving, and some methods are relatively new, trenchless construction has been used extensively. Municipalities, for example, have used this technology to install water and sewer lines.

What you can expect

Every effort will be made to reduce inconvenience for local residents and businesses, but there will be unavoidable traffic delays and construction noise. There may be brief natural gas outages for residents living along the construction route.

Businesses in construction areas will remain open.

We’ll post frequent updates to let you know about construction activities and road or lane closures in advance. You can also check out our FAQ page.

We appreciate your patience as we complete these important safety upgrades.

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