Trench work along Evans Road for underground utility lines awaits a final application of asphalt. But the natural gas pipeline explosion up north has suspended the gas-fired asphalt operations across the Lower Mainland, and all paving projects in Chilliwack are now on hold as a result. (Greg Knill/ The Progress)

Trench work along Evans Road for underground utility lines awaits a final application of asphalt. But the natural gas pipeline explosion up north has suspended the gas-fired asphalt operations across the Lower Mainland, and all paving projects in Chilliwack are now on hold as a result. (Greg Knill/ The Progress)

Enbridge pipeline explosion cools asphalt operations in Chilliwack

Asphalt plants across the Lower Mainland told to limit production

Aftershocks from the natural gas pipeline explosion near Prince George last week are having an impact in Chilliwack.

Paving projects have been put on hold across Chilliwack after asphalt plants across the Lower Mainland were told to cease operations.

“One major impact of the pipeline explosion is that Fortis BC has issued notice that effective immediately they must declare a ‘force majeure,’ said Jamie Leggatt, communications director for City of Chilliwack.

“This means that the asphalt plants in the Lower Mainland are unable to operate until the natural gas supply issue has been resolved. As a result, all paving projects in Chilliwack are now on hold until the plants are able to re-open,” Leggatt added.

Read More: Enbridge to begin building road to access pipeline explosion site in B.C.

In legal contract language, a ‘force majeure’ is a provision that allows a contracting party to terminate or postpone its obligations when circumstances beyond their control arise.

One key area awaiting asphalt is Evans Road. In addition to the road widening south of the BC Rail tracks, the city is also moving hydro lines underground. Although much of the work is complete, the area south from Wells Road to the tracks still needs asphalt before lanes can reopen.

Other city facilities might see impacts as well.

“At our arena, we are limiting space heating in the spectator areas.”

Tankless hot water heaters are already installed to supply showers, and there is a “heat reclaim” system off of the refrigeration system.

“Two years ago we installed a device (called REALice) that allows us to lower the water temperature we use for ice flooding/cleaning from 160 degrees to 70 degrees,” stated Leggatt. “We have reduced heating levels at the Landing Sports Centre, Grandstands, and Evergreen Hall.”


@CHWKjourno
jfeinberg@theprogress.com

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