On-Site Magazine

Work to start on latest Metro Vancouver water tunnel project; Aecon, Traylor Bros win $267M contract

By David Kennedy   

Construction Infrastructure

A drill rig on a barge in Burrard Inlet carrying out geotechnical drilling investigations during the design phase of the project. PHOTO: Metro Vancouver

VANCOUVER—A major tunnelling project is set to get underway in Metro Vancouver this month after the regional government firmed up a $267 million construction contract with a joint venture between Traylor Bros. Inc. and Aecon Group Inc.

The U.S.-based contractor holds a 60 per cent stake in the partnership that will build the Second Narrows Water Supply Tunnel, while Aecon holds the remaining interest.

One of five new water supply tunnels in the area, Second Narrows will run about 30 metres (approximately 98 feet) under Burrard Inlet, linking existing water infrastructure in North Vancouver with Burnaby, B.C. Like other recent West Coast projects, the tunnel is designed to withstand a major earthquake.

CLICK TO ENLARGE | Location of the tunnel. PHOTO: Metro Vancouver

Traylor Bros. and Aecon will be responsible for building the tunnel’s exit shafts in North Vancouver and Burnaby—respectively 60 and 110 metres deep—as well as the 1.1 kilometre tunnel under the shallow inlet that separates Vancouver from the North Shore. The tunnel will be approximately five metres (16.4 feet) in diameter, according to Traylor Bros., and eventually house three separate water mains.


Metro Vancouver design plans show the tunnel being dug using a single boring machine that will enter through the North Vancouver shaft and progress south to Burnaby. The regional government said the total cost for the water supply tunnel is expected to reach $430 million.

Work on the project will begin this month and is scheduled to wrap up by the end of 2023.


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