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    Coastal GasLink completes Morice River micro-tunnel


First Nations companies participated in the river crossing. [Image: Coastal GasLink]

by: Dale Lunan

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Coastal GasLink completes Morice River micro-tunnel

Coastal GasLink, the TC Energy subsidiary building the 670-km pipeline to connect gas reserves in northeast BC to the LNG Canada liquefaction terminal under construction near Kitimat, said May 18 it had completed micro-tunnelling work under the Morice River.

The Morice River crossing, in the contentious Section 7 of the CGL right-of-way, will be the project’s 10th and final major water crossing. It has been at the centre of a controversy between CGL and hereditary chiefs and other land defenders of the Wet’suwet’en First Nation.

Due to subsurface conditions, CGL said the length of the micro-tunnel has been shortened by 28 metres, and construction of the exit point, involving clearing and excavation work, has begun.

Later this summer, pipe will be pulled through the micro-tunnel and connected with the rest of the CGL route on both sides of the Morice River. The crossing section will then be hydrotested to ensure its integrity and safety.

Much of the crossing work was completed by a collaboration between OJ Pipelines, Natanlii Development (Skin Tyee Nation), Yinka Dene Economic Development Limited Partnership (Wet’suwet’en First Nation) and Kyah Development (Witset First Nation). The participating First Nations contributed valuable knowledge of the land to ensure safe and “respectful” completion of the project and gained significant expertise and skills training opportunities for their members.