The construction area at Water Street Wharf near Harbour Quay. ELENA RARDON PHOTO

The construction area at Water Street Wharf near Harbour Quay. ELENA RARDON PHOTO

Work begins on Alberni spill response base

Base will include waterfront moorage, land-based building

Western Canada Marine Response Corporation (WCMRC) has started construction work on their planned spill response base in Port Alberni.

This base is part of a larger expansion planned to meet enhanced response requirements associated with the Trans Mountain Expansion Project. The Port Alberni base will be one of a number of new bases constructed on Vancouver Island, and will work in tandem with the base in Ucluelet, with Port Alberni being the main base of the two.

The larger expansion will double WCMRC’s capacity to respond to spills and cut mandated response times in half in South Coast waters.

WCMRC plans to work closely with the Port Alberni Port Authority throughout this project.

The Port Alberni base will include two sites located off Harbour Road between Argyle Street and Bruce Street. The base will include moorage off of Water Street Wharf and a pre-engineered steel structure, including office and warehouse space, near the port authority’s office.

In preparation for the new base, groundworks have begun on the location within the port authority’s terminal yard. Preparations will begin soon at Water Street Wharf.

This will involve removal and demolition of the existing paved surface to expose laminated decking, followed by removal and replacement of laminated areas. Beams, piling tops and cross-bracing will be replaced, where necessary, and the “triangle” area at the south end of the dock will be removed. The timber transition retaining wall will be removed and replaced by concrete lock blocks, and the pier will be decked with new timber.

WCMRC has hired local contractor Bowerman Excavating Ltd. to complete this work.

There will be a temporary loss of access to this construction area that may directly impact the Harbour Quay businesses and the public who use this area for parking.