Focus on Conditions: Traffic Control plans for public roadways, Condition 73

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The Trans Mountain Expansion Project must meet 157 Conditions set out by the National Energy Board (NEB). The conditions apply during various stages of the Project’s lifecycle, including before construction, during construction and during operation of the expanded pipeline system. They cover a wide range of topics such as environmental protection and engineering and safety, and are designed to reduce possible risks identified during the Application process.

Many of these conditions are in response to community and Intervenor feedback gathered through the regulatory review process and from the many residents who participated in our open houses, workshops and online opportunities. These Project-specific conditions respect and reflect existing government regulations. Often, a condition requires the development of a detailed plan that addresses a specific concern or set of concerns as well as mitigation of impacts associated with the development, construction and operation of the expanded system.

Trans Mountain has prepared a draft plan for managing traffic associated with Project construction and pipeline reactivation. The Traffic and Access Control Management Plan (the Plan) has been developed to meet NEB Condition 73.

The TMEP is committed to ensuring the safety of the public and workers as the Project undergoes construction. The Traffic and Access Control Management Plan provides direction to Project contractors regarding minimum requirements for maintaining safe work environments and minimizing traffic disruption to the travelling public.

The Plan encompasses a wide range of traffic-related topics such as current and anticipated traffic volumes, noise and dust management, construction vehicle parking and mitigating impacts of construction traffic on communities, motorists and the environment. As well, it frames Trans Mountain’s plans for development and use of access roads that must be established to reach the construction right-of-way from provincial highways.

The Plan will be updated prior to filing with the National Energy Board, incorporating feedback from Aboriginal groups, landowners/tenants and appropriate government authorities. Before issuing permits, traffic management regulators in British Columbia and Alberta require detailed preparation for any construction work that will impact provincial roadways.

Trans Mountain’s Plan sets out the minimum requirements for traffic management by the various contractors who will work on the Project. Contractors must supplement Trans Mountain’s Plan with their own traffic management plans. Contractors will develop their traffic management plans during final construction planning for their section or sections of the Project. As circumstances dictate, pertaining to traffic and roadway impact, contractors may be required to develop additional, location-specific traffic control plans addressing public impact and roadway safety.

Key construction points or activities covered within the Traffic and Access Control Management Plan are:

  • Pipeline mainline construction activities
  • Higher impact roadways in Alberta and BC
  • Equipment mobilization and worker staging from construction yards
  • Pipe stockpiles and Project camps
  • Facilities including Edmonton Terminal, Sumas Terminal, Burnaby Terminal, Westridge Marine Terminal and pump stations
  • First Nations reserves where the pipeline directly crosses
  • Pipeline reactivation sections including Hinton to Hargreaves and Darfield to Black Pines

Details in the Traffic and Access Control Management Plan include current and anticipated traffic volumes for day and night during construction, a description of traffic flows including vehicle types and volumes, vehicle marshaling areas and access roads, and an assessment of potential impacts (such as noise, dust, safety hazards, hours of work, use of light, etc.) with mitigation measures for these impacts. Accommodation of pedestrians and cyclists, school zones and transit must be considered.

Mitigation measures can include visual screening where construction takes place next to roadways, detour for pedestrians and cyclists where overhead work is required, warning signage, lane closure where required in communication with local authorities, consideration of local noise bylaws and restriction of some activities during peak traffic periods.