Major Projects

Information relating to major projects currently in progress with the City of Prince Rupert

Water + Sewer Infrastructure Replacement:

 

Woodworth Dam Replacement (Phase 2):

The City has been working hard on our dam replacement project since Federal and Provincial funding was awarded in 2015 for the first phase of the project. Funding for the dam itself meanwhile, was announced in 2017. Phase 1 was completed in 2018, which included replacement and burial of a large portion of the water supply line and development of a road. Phase 2, which is the full replacement of the 100 year old dam. The new dam structure is complete, with the City is now waiting for the reservoir to fill and for some minor remaining works that will enable us to switch back to our original primary water supply at Woodworth Lake.

During construction, the City has been relying on our secondary source of potable water at Shawatlans Lake. Due to its lower elevation, this source is more susceptible to sediment run-off during rain events, which has led to a significant increase in the number of Boil Water Advisories since construction began. Following the activation of the new dam at the primary source at Woodworth Lake, the City anticipates to see water quality improve – even more so when the City’s other phase of infrastructure renewal, water treatment, is completed.  

CURRENT STATUS: 100% Complete

 

Water Treatment:

In 2019 the City was awarded $20 million in grant funds towards a new water treatment facility to replace our existing single barrier form of treatment, chlorination. This project is currently undergoing a thorough value engineering process with the Province to determine the most appropriate form of treatment based on our specific water chemistry. This process is required by our funding arrangement and helps to ensure that our community will receive the best possible value for our investment. The City has recently issued a Request for Expressions of Interest in this project, and will provide additional updates as soon as they are available. 

CURRENT STATUS: 10% Complete

 

Submarine Water Line (Phase 3):

The City’s primary and secondary water sources at Woodworth and Shawatlans Lakes are located across the harbour from Seal Cove. To get to Prince Rupert, our water is transported via two submarine water supply lines that run beneath the harbour. The City is replacing the older of the two lines, built in 1967, which is currently used as an emergency back up. This project also includes the installation of an all weather dock and barge access ramp to improve access for crews to this critical infrastructure. The Request for Proposals has now been issued for this project. 

CURRENT STATUS: 15% Complete

 

Sewer Treatment Program

The City is continuing to work with our partners in the Federal and Provincial governments to implement a sewage treatment plan that will bring us in line with Federal and Provincial environmental standards. Until recently, it was believed the options available for sewage treatment would require the City to twin all existing combined storm/sewer lines. This is a significantly cost prohibitive option for a community of our size – and is anticipated to cost in excess of $175 million.

To avoid this expense, the City completed work in 2021 to explore available options to treat sewage with a wetland system, which is an innovative and environmentally friendly approach to treating community wastewater used elsewhere in the world.  In addition, this is a low maintenance approach that will reduce overall operating cost and capacity requirements for the future. The City will be completing design and construction in 2022-2023 to implement this technology on a small-scale for with a replacement of the lift station behind Omineca Avenue, which services approximately 100 homes.

It may sounds strange, but although the area will be clearly blocked off and identified, there will be no noticeable look or smell to the project. Solids and sediment will be filtered out of the water in the first step of treatment, before wastewater makes its way to beneath the wetland where pollutants are broken down through natural processes in the vegetation of the marshland. Once it goes through that natural treatment process, wastewater will be treated and pumped back into the existing sewer network while we work to demonstrate that it can be treated to a standard acceptable to our regulators. If it’s determined to be safe, then in future the treated water may be discharged back into the natural environment – which is common in other areas that treat their water this way. For instance, many communities use treated wastewater for irrigation.

The City has completed two grant applications to complete the work, which is currently estimated to cost approximately $6 million. As we move forward, we will be closely monitoring the success of the project to confirm that it meets all Provincial and Federal regulatory standards, and if so, the approach can be applied elsewhere throughout the community.

CURRENT STATUS: 15% Complete

 

SCADA System Upgrade:

SCADA refers to “Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition”, which essentially means the City intends to install technology to be able to monitor and control our water supply system in real time as a part of broader upgrades. This will significantly improve our ability to respond to emergency events, and reduce requirements for staff to attend to our remote water supply after hours.  The cost for this project has been contemplated as part of Phase 3 of the water infrastructure renewal project. The Request for Proposals has now been issued for this project.

CURRENT STATUS: 15% Complete

 

Community Development

 

Waterfront Development Project

Following a public design process conducted through Redesign Rupert, the City has been working on executing a plan for the waterfront area surrounding Kwinitsa station. The intent is to create a new multi-faceted waterfront development including a marine terminal that will serve as the basis for regional improvements to marine transportation infrastructure, while enhancing the lived experience of residents and visitors to Prince Rupert. As part of this project, the City’s airport ferry and the Kitkatla ferry are planning to relocate to this location, where two new ferry berths and a breakwater asset are planning to be built. The relocation of the airport ferry is intended to improve the travel experience for those leaving/arriving here by providing a more central access point to our airport. Although we have experienced some delays due to the pandemic, a design is currently in process for this project, and the City has received Provincial funding to support a portion of our cost of the work.

CURRENT STATUS: 15% Complete

 

CN Heritage Building Revitalization Project

The CN Rail station is an iconic building and heritage site that reaches back in the City’s history as the Grand Trunk railway terminus. The building has sat vacant and in disrepair on the waterfront for many years. Revitalization of the City’s waterfront has long been a priority of the Official Community Plan, and refurbishment of the CN station was included in the Redesign Rupert public design consultation completed by the Planning Partnership in 2018, and included in the 2030 Vision. Architectural designs and cost estimates for the building have now been completed, and the City has selected Wheelhouse Brewing as the commercial tenant.

CURRENT STATUS: 15% Complete

 

3rd Avenue Extension:

For both safety and future development purposes, the City is planning to bypass the existing wooden trestle bridge in Cow Bay by extending 3rd Avenue East roadway, sidewalks and lighting and reconnecting the roadway to George Hills Way. The project is still under development and project timelines are yet to be determined.

CURRENT STATUS: 15% Complete

 

Eat Street Development:

The Eat Street development is a new public square space – a designated location for local food trucks where the community can eat lunch, plan an event, or just sit and relax.  Plans for the square feature new lighting, planters and power for the food trucks – with an intent to eventually provide a covered space and a water filling station. This project will also feature an Urbaloo outdoor restroom facility to serve the square and the City’s vulnerable population, thanks to funding from Prince Rupert Aboriginal Community Services Society and Service Canada.

CURRENT STATUS: 100% Complete

 

RCMP Detachment:

To be in compliance with RCMP standards and our Policing  Agreement, the City must redevelop an RCMP Station, currently anticipated to cost $25 million. The detachment project is intended to take GHG emissions into account in construction, and will be an asset to serve the community for decades to come. The former building on site has now been removed, conceptual drawings for the new building have been completed, and earthworks are proceeding in the near future. Occupancy is anticipated to occur in 2024.

The City is currently in the process of seeking public assent for a $25 million loan to complete the project, to be repaid over a 30 year period. The loan is estimated to increase taxes potentially by approximately 1% the year following the dispersal of funds. The tax increase will only be necessary IF all funds are required to complete the project. The City has been setting aside additional tax revenues since 2019 to reduce the future impact of loan repayment for this project. If this step had not been taken, the project could have potentially increased taxes by 6%.

CURRENT STATUS: 25% Complete

 

Solid Waste Upgrades

 

New Landfill Cell:

The City opened a new $10 million landfill cell at the end of 2021, a long-awaited upgrade that will enable owners of derelict buildings in the community to once again dispose of building refuse locally. Following speculation around potential LNG development in Prince Rupert, between 2014-2017, the City saw a significant increase in renovation waste coming to the landfill, which necessitated expansion and the development of a new cell sooner than previously anticipated. Based on current waste volumes, this cell should last the community 30 years – however should the City see significant waste diversion through it’s new recycling program, we anticipate the extension of that lifespan by up to 50%.

CURRENT STATUS: Complete

 

Recycling Program:

The City launched its curbside recycling program in January of 2022. The City operates this service in partnership with Recycle BC, the parent collection company in BC, which sets out the items that may be collected under our program. For more information on this program, and what you can put in your blue bin, go to: http://princerupert.ca/services/garbage_recycling/curbside_recycling

CURRENT STATUS: Complete