Prince Rupert, BC — The Port of Prince Rupert announced that it is the recipient of $21.9 million in funding from the Government of Canada to support three separate projects that will enable transportation infrastructure and gateway growth.
Terry Beech, Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Transport and MP for Burnaby North-Seymour, on behalf of Marc Garneau, Minister of Transport, announced an investment of $15 million from the Asia-Pacific Gateway Initiative for the Fairview-Ridley Connector, as well as funding from the National Trade Corridors Fund of $3.7 million for the Ridley Island Road Rail Utility Corridor Expansion and $3.2 million for the Zanardi Bridge and Mainline Expansion.
“These investments enable the Port of Prince Rupert to improve gateway infrastructure to support growth and ensure our speed and reliability as a strategic gateway for Canadian Trade is maintained,” said Shaun Stevenson, President and CEO of the Prince Rupert Port Authority. “We’re very pleased to have the Government of Canada’s support in continuing to advance the development of the Prince Rupert Gateway.”
The first investment of $15 million for an Asia-Pacific Gateway Initiative towards the $100 million project that will see construction of the Fairview-Ridley Connector, a 5 kilometer corridor that will provide a physical platform for two new rail sidings and a private-haul road between Fairview Container Terminal and Ridley Island Industrial Site. Construction for this project is expected to begin in Q1 2019 and complete in Q3 2020, and is contracted to a local First Nations joint venture, the Coast Tsimshian Northern Contractors Alliance.
The Fairview-Ridley Connector will facilitate a rerouting of container trucks from local customs and transload facilities to Fairview Container Terminal. Due to a substantial increase in local export operations, the number of trucks transiting Highway 16 through downtown Prince Rupert has grown on average from 50 to 200 trucks per day over the last two years. When complete, the Fairview-Ridley Connector will reduce the haul distance from Ridley Island to the terminal from 20 kilometers to 5 kilometers. By eliminating downtown truck traffic, the project will achieve improved vehicle and pedestrian safety, ease traffic congestion, reduce wear on provincial and municipal road infrastructure, and drastically reduce the GHG and local air emissions from each truck trip by an estimated 75%.
The increased rail capacity will be developed in the corridor as intermodal volumes require it, and will continue to ensure future rail activity is focused on the southern side of Fairview Terminal, further away from residential areas.
“The Port of Prince Rupert is a growing North American gateway with Asia, an important lever for expanding and diversifying trade,” JJ Ruest, President and CEO of CN. “CN applauds these announcements which complement our own $340 million capital investments across British Columbia. Today’s announcements will also benefit the citizens of Prince Rupert by diverting port related truck traffic away from the city.”
The second investment of $3.7 million is dedicated to the engineering and design for future expansion of the Port’s Road Rail Utility Corridor (RRUC). The RRUC is an infrastructure platform built to support access to future terminals and logistics operations on Ridley Island; its expansion is critical to unlocking future development on Ridley Island.
The third investment of $3.2 million supports the engineering and design of CN’s mainline entry and exit to and from the Gateway, focusing particularly on the Zanardi Bridge and related bridge accesses. The current single track access to the Port will need to improve its capacity as intermodal and bulk rail cargoes continue to increase at the Port.
The resulting work will constitute a set of costed infrastructure project plans ready to be advanced for regulatory review and construction on an optimal timeline. The Port of Prince Rupert expects that up to $500 million of gateway infrastructure projects will be needed over the next decade to meet its trade growth forecasts.