PRINCE RUPERT, BRITISH COLUMBIA — The Port of Prince Rupert announced on November 7 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 Member of Parliament for Burnaby North-Seymour, on behalf of the Honourable 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.
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 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.
“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. We’re very pleased to have the Government of Canada’s support in continuing to advance the development of the Prince Rupert Gateway.”
- Shaun Stevenson
President and CEO of the Prince Rupert Port Authority
“Transportation and distribution of goods are a vital part of our local, regional, and national economies. The investment announced here today will make our transportation system stronger by addressing urgent capacity constraints at the Port of Prince Rupert and fostering long-term prosperity for community.”
- Terry Beech
Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Transport and Member of Parliament for Burnaby North-Seymour
“The Port of Prince Rupert is a growing North American gateway with Asia, an important lever for expanding and diversifying trade. 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.”
- JJ Ruest
President and CEO of CN
“Today’s announcement is one that Metlakatla is happy to be a part of and one that will benefit all who live in Coast Tsimshian Territory. Projects like the Fairview-Ridley Corridor will provide Metlakatla members a further opportunity to be directly involved in growing the economy of the North Coast, both through the jobs that construction of the road will create and the further expansion of the port that this project supports.”
- Harold Leighton
Chief Councillor, Metlakatla First Nation
“Lax Kw’alaams is pleased to see the Government of Canada investing in the Port of Prince Rupert. Lax Kw’alaams members are also invested in the success of the port and the economic benefits it provides, and are looking forward to growing our partnership in the future.”
- John Helin
Mayor, Lax Kw’alaams
“The City welcomes these major transportation improvements as it will both encourage future economic investment in our area, and improve the safety of our downtown core by removing container truck traffic. As home of one of the fastest growing ports in North America, we look forward to continued interest from senior levels of government in making Prince Rupert a compelling place to live, work and invest.”
- Lee Brain
Mayor, City of Prince Rupert