The South Shore Trade Area (SSTA) is a very important import/export gateway in the Greater Vancouver area. The SSTA consists of a thin strip of land bordered on the north side by the Burrard inlet and by residential and commercial neighbourhoods on the south side. The land contains ports, the CPR corridor that connects it to the rest of Canada, and access roads for trucks. The South Shore Corridor project provided a road connection through Port Metro Vancouver (PMV), eliminating rail/road conflicts at ten rail crossings and improving rail and road access to the terminals in the surrounding area.
As General Contractor for this project, Houle coordinated with several civil subcontractors with the following scopes: tunneling machines, paving, concrete work, and hydrovacing. Houle altered and upgraded the Vehicle Access and Control Systems at Zone 1 (Heatley), Zone 2 (Clark Drive), Zone 4 (Commissioner Street), Zone 5 (Main St. Docks), and Zone 6 (Canada Place Dock Level) entry points. This included the demolition and reconstruction of physical infrastructure and control technology upgrade:
- Additional security cameras along the South Shore roadway
- Fibre optics infrastructure upgrade
- New dynamic message signs at locations on and off PMV right of way
- Introduction of automated crossing warning systems at three road/railway crossings along the Corridor — Southern Railway (Centennial Road), Rogers Street, and Columbia Containers West (Commissioner Street)
- Associated road works including roadway layout changes and widening, utilities relocations and protection measures
- Electrical infrastructure changes including security and communications infrastructure and associated conduit
Working through the cold winter months meant running into weather complications. Due to icy conditions, the paving and concrete pours were affected, shifting Houle’s schedule. Through collaboration with the City of Vancouver and PMV Information Systems Department, Houle successfully overcame challenges that were presented during the installation of the fibre optics system from Canada Place to ECOM.
Through collaboration with PBX Engineering, Houle successfully integrated the numerous electronic systems. During this process, Houle helped to maintain security and operations of the busy schedule at the Port to limit delays and interferences. Houle worked hard to coordinate with Canadian National Railway and BC Hydro to complete the project on schedule. The project was completed on time and on budget.