Work on the Trans Mountain Pipeline is going to get more noticeable for Hope residents.
The section of the twinning project from Bridal Veil Falls to the Coquihalla Summit runs through Hope and crosses many roadways. Some of those are considered “trenchless” crossings, which require a specific type of drilling.
And once you turn on that drill, you have to keep it going until the job is done, Trans Mountain representatives told Hope council Monday night. That means some residential areas will have drilling happening night and day.
The company was seeking a variance on District of Hope noise bylaws to carry out that trenchless work. Instead, district staff presented the option of an exemption to the company.
Council approved the exemption unanimously, with the caveat that it applies only to the trenchless work. Council also asked for clarification on how long each trenchless crossing would take. The answer was “a few days, not months” per site.
That work is expected to start later this month, but homeowners who are in the vicinity of the affected areas will be hearing from Trans Mountain in a variety of ways prior to that.
The company has set up a phone line and is required to respond to all inquiries. They are advertising their work through signage and traditional media advertising.
They are also doing mail outs to affected neighbourhoods, and will be working with land agents to smooth out any issues that develop along the way.
The bulk of the work is still to be done, with activity planned to peak next summer locally. That means there are more workers to be hired, both from out of town and locally.
Kate Stebbings, Trans Mountain’s manager of engagement, said that they are looking to hire locally and urge residents to apply. The peak of the workforce will be in the summer and fall of 2022. So far, they have hired 11,300 people.
She also encouraged residents to sign up for their newsletter for emails about the project, and to check out the interactive map online that highlight the work being done.
One of the improvements to Hope that benefits the community and helps the project move along is the improvement of Othello Road.
Stebbings said they are aiming to have two-lane traffic restored sometime next week.
Hope was also one of several communities that signed a benefit agreement for $500,000. That money will be available for council to spend as they see fit, following public consultation.
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