Update: April 9, 2019
Further to the information we shared yesterday, we want to provide residents with a complete update on our Lorne Street Stormwater Mitigation Project.
As we noted on April 8, we encountered some contaminated soil on the former CN property. Soil tests revealed concentrations of petroleum hydrocarbons (PCH), polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAH), and metals in soils above applicable provincial guidelines. As a result, Council has authorized additional expenditures needed to remove the soil, truck it to an approved disposal facility and then monitor the site to ensure all the material was removed and provide all the necessary documentation to the New Brunswick Department of Environment and Local Government. Our consulting team will have an environmental professional onsite to supervise and monitor the contaminated soil excavation. While this is unfortunate, and expensive (estimated at $400,000), 75% of the costs to clean-up the pocket of contamination will be covered under our existing Clean Water and Wastewater Fund Program.
The Town did explore a variety of design options for Phase II, including pursing other properties. In the end, the CN property was the only feasible option from an engineering perspective. While an extensive geotechnical program was undertaken as part of the project, the contamination is limited to a specific area on the property. To help put things in perspective, the contamination is confined to a 4,000 square metre area, while the entire pond is approximately 40,000 square metres. At the end of the day, it was a matter of risk versus reward and we are in a positive position given that we have funds available to undertake the clean-up.
We strongly believe that removing the contaminated soil is the right thing to do. While leaving the soil in place and reducing the volume of the pond was an option, there is a further risk that the contamination could migrate, which would require future clean-up costs to the Town, without any secured funding from other levels of government.
The contractor will start excavating the contaminated soil on April 10, and trucks will start transporting the estimated 9,000 tons of material on April 11. This work will be undertaken during the day and should take about 2-3 weeks, depending on the weather.
We also have several other updates. Residents will notice that the mobile office has moved again. The office is now set-up on the Town’s sports field parking lot, next to Atlantic Towing. This will allow the contractor to complete the rest of the excavation.
In addition, the contractor has been securing the necessary approvals and completing the logistical work associated with the culvert under the CN rail line. We had a slight delay in receiving the necessary approvals from CN, because a fiberop line was found to be lower than expected. As a result, the crossing had to be moved slightly northeast to get the culvert under the fiberop line with adequate clearance. This small change required a new approval from CN, which we received on April 9, 2019. Although this change resulted in additional approvals, the contractor was able to keep busy in other areas of the project to keep the entire project on schedule.
The CN crossing is very sophisticated work, with a drill team scheduled to come in from Montreal. As you can expect, the trains need to continue to roll, so our work needs to be carried out in a way that allows CN to continue operations. The drill team will be using a jack and bore process, which means that they will push the culvert under the rail line and then pull the material out from the inside of the culvert once it’s in place. This is expected to take approximately five days. This work is now being scheduled and we hope to have it underway soon.
While our consultants were securing the necessary approvals from CN, the contractor installed a new culvert under Crescent Street. This work went extremely well, and we didn’t need to keep the street closed into the weekend. There is some additional work needed on the southwest side of Crescent Street, and the road will need to be resurfaced where it was excavated, which will all be completed later in the project.
Furthermore, the contractor has most of the retention pond outlet structure completed. This unit will allow is to manage the rate at which water will leave the pond. This will allow us to control the water during high tide and during periods of heavy rain, and then release it when the tide is out.
What can you expect over the next few weeks? The contaminated soil and remaining clean soil will be removed, the CN crossing will be completed, and the remaining ditches connecting the retaining pond to the CN crossing will be finished.
We want to continue to remind residents that this is a short-term solution, but it allows us to make significant improvements with the funding that is available. The long-term stormwater management plan remains unchanged, which will eventually see stormwater redirected to a new lower aboiteau at the Tantramar River (near our Engineering and Public Works facility) via a new large drainage ditch. This work will only be possible with future funding. Until the long-term goal is achieved, this area of our community will still be vulnerable to flooding.
So, despite the pond being 85% complete we have unfortunately hit a challenge with the contaminated soil. Nonetheless, we have the funds to deal with it, and the end result will be one less contaminated property in our community. The project continues to move forward and we’re very pleased with the progress made on Phase II so far.
As we’ve noted in previous posts, we want to sincerely thank our residents and business community for their continued support and understanding with this project. This is a big undertaking, and it’s a complex project, but it will be a great addition to our Town when it’s completed. We’ll be on the home stretch soon!!
Stay tuned for future updates as work continues.
If you have any questions about this project, please contact Jamie Burke, Senior Manager of Corporate Projects, at 364-4930 or firstname.lastname@example.org.