About the Project
One of Western Canada’s largest container trade corridors, the Fairview Container Terminal in Prince Rupert, BC has experienced a boom in local export transload operations. As the terminal continues to grow, so has the volume of traffic in Prince Rupert—it is estimated that the number of trucks travelling on Highway 16 has grown from 50 to 200 trucks per day.
To minimize container truck traffic through the downtown core, the Prince Rupert Port Authority (PRPA) put the Fairview-Ridley Connector Corridor (FRCC) into motion. This 5km privately-owned road reroutes trucks from local transload and customs facilities directly to the Fairview Container Terminal.
Opened in August 2022, this new route reduces drayage by 15km, thereby decreasing commercial vehicle gas emissions by up to 75%. As it eliminates downtown container truck traffic, the FRCC also improves pedestrian and vehicle safety and minimizes stress on local road infrastructure.
AECOM provided conceptual through detailed design, which included geotechnical analysis, coastal design, and significant civil, electrical, and drainage design components. As EoR, AECOM provided engineering oversight, geotechnical monitoring, reanalysis and optimization, and coastal engineering support during construction.
Data collection and investigation was challenging, due to the terrain and required drone flights, while the geotechnical investigation included helicopter and barges. These challenges continued through construction, requiring barge-based work and temporary roads as the project progressed to create access to the site.
McElhanney played a key role in supporting PRPA with project management and provided survey, field reviews, and contract administration services. This required our team to be on site daily to liaise between the owner, contractor, and design engineer. We also reviewed and tracked submitted documents (such as shop drawings, changes, and RFIs) and address construction-related issues.
AECOM and McElhanney met weekly with PRPA and the contractor to address site challenges (such as work in an inter-tidal zone with steep mountain slopes and 8m+ tides, complex geotechnical conditions, habitat compensation and archaeological protection).
Since the roadway is adjacent to a CN Rail line, we worked closely with CN to meet technical requirements and complete work without disrupting train operations. Relocating hydro poles and installation of submarine cables required collaboration with BC Hydro and City West Utilities. Engagement with the Coast Tsimshian Northern Contractors Alliance—the First Nations construction joint venture—began early in the design phase. To stay on schedule, construction took place during low and high tide, requiring vigilant construction administration. McElhanney’s local team provided critical daily reports while travel was restricted during the pandemic.
The nearby coastal embankment was reinforced and protected by replacing unstable marine sediments with stronger materials and large rock revetment. Potentially acid generating rock was replaced while still using onsite rock as much as possible.
Geotechnical conditions required a mid-construction re-design to accommodate site conditions and minimize re-work on already constructed portions, including an innovative berm design to allow construction to continue while minimizing cost changes. Habitat compensation reefs were rearranged to meet site conditions and fisheries objectives.
The FRCC was completed in August ’22 and offers a range of economic, social, and environmental benefits. In PRPA’s press release, President & CEO Shaun Stevenson, said: “The FRCC is…designed to maximize efficiency within the Port, upholding our commitment to reduce the impacts of gateway operations on the environment and surrounding community. [It] enables greater efficiencies and competitiveness at the gateway and generates new economic opportunities on local, regional, and national levels.”
– Engineer of Record
– Preliminary and Detailed Design
– Engineering During Construction
– Project Management
– Contract Administration
– Field Reviews
Project Team (Consultants)
Proactive Infrastructure Consulting
Project Team (Contractors)
Coast Tsimshian Northern Contractor Alliance
Khtada Environmental Services