July 3, 2012
FEATURE | Sewer and Watermain/Water & Wastewater
Peel Region’s big watermain work begins
The largest watermain construction project in Peel Region is now in progress as part of a multi-phase project to ensure water security in a large swath of the region.
Varcon Construction is close to completing a 300-metre-long open-cut pipe installation near the Lakeview Water Treatment Plant on the shores of Lake Ontario.
But that work is just one small phase in the construction of the $480-million, 15-kilometre-long, 2,400-millimetre watermain which delivers water from the plant to the Hanlan transfer pumping station at Britannia and Tomken roads. Contractors for three separate contracts that will make up the bulk of the project are now being prequalified, says regional project manager William Turner.
Major expansions of the Lakeview and Hanlan plants have been underway for the past few years in anticipation of the new watermain. Although they already connected with an existing line, pipelines can break, says Turner, citing the recent the burst in the London Ontario area which prompted major water restrictions.
“If the line were to break it could be catastrophic. We might only a few hours of water supply.”
First identified a top priority in a master plan 10 years ago, with an environmental assessment conducted in 2009, the project is a massive undertaking, says Turner.
“It’s the largest of its kind in the region and possibly the province outside of Toronto.”
It’s so large the region has divided it into north and south halves, with a different consultant for each. CH2M Hill is the consultant for the south sector which encompasses the area from the Lakeview plant to Eastgate Parkway. The consultant for the north section is MMM Group Ltd.
“It’s obviously cheaper to do open cut where we can. But that’s not always possible,” says Turner, in explaining why a mix of tunnelling and open-cut construction will be used.
There are several natural and man-made obstacles which necessitated tunnelling, including two Etobicoke Creek crossings, other watercourses, Highway 401, and the southerly four-lane portion of Dixie Road.
Further north where that road widens into six lanes, open-cut will be used. The pipe will be buried in the middle and two lanes, north and south, will be kept open, he says.
In the tunnel sections the public will barely notice construction is underway.
There will, of course, be disruptions and traffic congestion and to prepare for that the region will launch a major communications and public outreach program. It includes a dedicated “Hanlan hotline,” news updates on Twitter, and the appointment of two goodwill project ambassadors to deal with public complaints, says Turner.
The project will also include the building of some local distribution lines and a parallel six-kilometre subtransmission line from the Hanlan plant to the intersection of Cawthra and Burnhamthorpe roads.
That particular line is needed to provide water for the intensification now occurring in the Mississauga City Centre area, he says.
In October the region will issue the first major contract, followed by the second in January 2013 and the third in March of next year, says Turner.
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